Agency Study

Agency Description:

My Practice Learning Opportunity, 1, is a arrangement within a fostering bureau in the North East of England. The bureau is in the independent Social Work sector and was developed from an initial company set up in 1989 supplying societal work bodyguards for kids and immature people in crisis.

Following from this the company developed a residential attention place in the North East of England, a separate company was so established in 2000, its purpose being to supply a scope of surrogate arrangements in the North of England for kids and immature people. This is the portion of the company in which I am placed, it has two offices ; one in the North East of England and one in Manchester. Together the offices have provided arrangements for 21 Social Services Departments in the North of England with the bulk in this country being from Middlesbrough, Darlington and Stockton on Tees Social Services. The bureau is registered with the British Association for Adoption and Fostering ( BAAF ) .

The office in which I am placed is in consists of a Registered Manager, a portion clip Social Work squad leader, three full clip Social Workers and an Administrative Assistant. It has 17 sets of Approved Foster Carers which provide arrangements for 19 kids. The Fostering squad is made up of four societal workers each with a lower limit of six old ages professional experience.

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The values which underpin the bureau ‘s attack to furthering are that kids are entitled to a safe life environment where they feel unafraid and their rights and sentiments are respected ( Student Handbook 2009, p9 ) . This is in line with the United Kingdom Every Child Matters Policy. To follow this through the bureau works in partnership with the kid, their household and their societal worker.

The bureau strives to put kids within their ain cultural and cultural background every bit far as possible. The Foster Carers and staff who use this office are of White British ethnicity, there are some kids of different ethnicity to that and this is acknowledged before fiting. The ethnicity in the office is a contemplation of the general population in the local country which is predominately White British. Conversely the office in Manchester has foster carers and staff of diverse ethnicity in maintaining with the catchment country which is culturally more varied. The bureau acknowledges cultural diverseness by practising anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive policies and by preparation classs

The bureau works within ; The Department of Health & A ; lsquo ; Looking After Children ‘ , & A ; lsquo ; Good Parenting, Good Outcomes ‘ guidelines ‘ , Quality Protects public presentation indexs, The Children Act 1989, The Foster Placement ( Children ) Regulations 1991, Working Together to Safeguard Children 1999 & A ; 2006, The Human Rights Act 1999, The Protection of Children Act 1999, The Children ( Leaving Care ) Act 2000, The Care Standards Act 2000 and related Regulations Standards, The Children Act 2004 and the Every Child Matters Agenda – 5 Outcomes 2003 and the Fostering Regulations and the Fostering Standards 2002.

The bureau marks specific results for the kids and immature people they look after, this is underpinned by policies such as the 2003 Green Paper & A ; lsquo ; Every Child Matters ‘ and the 1989 Five Outcomes of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which are ;

  1. Bing healthy
  2. Staying safe
  3. Enjoying and accomplishing
  4. Making a positive part
  5. Economic wellbeing.

Therefore, the bureau ‘s purposes for the kids they look after are that they enjoy the best possible physical and mental wellness, they fulfil their educational potency, experience security in their fond regards and do satisfying and appropriate societal, household and peer relationships, ( pupil enchiridion, 2008, p10 ) .

Work Undertaken by Agency

The work undertaken by the Fostering Team is varied although the aim is to supply high quality foster attention arrangements for kids who are being looked after by the Local Authority. This work includes the seeking of possible Foster carers, questioning and measuring them, utilizing British Association for Adoption and Fostering ( BAAF ) Form F1, the national appraisal model for possible Foster carers and adoptive parents. This is assessment procedure is conducted inline with the:

Fostering Servicess Regulations 2002 Regulations ;

11 ) , Duty to Secure Welfare,

19 ) , Staffing of Fostering Services,

20 ) , Fitness of Workers,

21 ) , Employment of Staff.

And with the ;

National Minimum Standards, Fostering Services Regulations 2002

6 ) Supplying suited surrogate carers.

7 ) Valuing Diversity.

8 ) Matching.

9 ) Protecting from maltreatment and disregard.

12 ) Promoting development and wellness.

13 ) Promoting educational accomplishment.

14 ) Fixing for maturity.

15 ) Suitability to work with kids.

The procedure takes about six months and during which the measuring societal workers seek information from the appliers about their grounds for fosterage, accomplishments and experience, yesteryear and current relationships, ( BAAF Form F1, ) . This grounds garnering procedure includes seeking personal and professional mentions to confirm information from the applier and to derive a Fuller position on rearing capacity and attachment manner. Health mentions involve a medical and any old strong beliefs must be disclosed by Criminal Records Bureau ( CRB ) for the applier and any important others.

To fix the applier for the function of surrogate lovingness and to develop accomplishments before panel meet the bureau provides preparation and support, the applications are so presented to the Independent Fostering Panel for blessing. This procedure meets the Fostering Regulations Standards 2002, Regulations ;

26 ) , Functions of Fostering Panel.

28 ) , Approval of Foster Parents.

29 ) , Reviews and Terminations of Approval.

And the National Minimum Standards, Fostering 2002, Standard 30, Fostering Panels.

On blessing the panel will make up one’s mind footings and conditions of the determination which will include figure of kids, ages and type of arrangement, the applier is so given written notice of the footings and specifications of blessing, ( Fostering Regulations 2002, reg,28 ) .

The nexus societal workers assigned to the appliers provide ongoing support before and after blessing, this bureau provides ongoing preparation to enable surrogate carers provide safe attention inline with the Fostering Regulations 2002.

Once approved the bureau can so accept Foster carers and fit the carers to the referrals the bureau receives from the local authorization. Beforehand the fosterage link societal workers guarantee that surrogate carers and their families are in conformity with the Foster attention ordinances. This is maintained by regular supervising, record maintaining and one-year unheralded visits to the surrogate carer ‘s place by the nexus worker. Both the Foster carers and the nexus workers have to work in partnership with others involved with the kid or immature individual ‘s attention program.

The nexus societal workers have to fit kids to further carers meticulously, this includes run intoing the conditions laid down by panel and the experience of the carers. As portion of this procedure the nexus societal worker checkerss a Safer Caring Agreement for the kid ‘s arrangement which is read and signed by the carer. A transcript of this papers is kept with the carer ‘s file at the bureau.

Within 7 yearss a Placement Review Meeting takes topographic point with the kid, surrogate carers, the kid ‘s societal worker and the bureau nexus worker. This meeting defines the kid ‘s wants and needs during arrangement, detailing the modus operandis for arrangement, wellness and educational demands. The bureau is further involved with the kid through contact with the Foster carer and engagement in the Looked After Review which takes topographic point 28 yearss, 3 monthly and 6 monthly after arrangement. These reappraisals are multi – disciplinary with attending by everyone involved in the kid ‘s attention program.

The bureau nexus workers work specifically with the Foster carers to supply ongoing support. The kids have their ain Local Authority societal workers but the nexus workers besides seek the positions of the kids, usually by the one-year unheralded visit from the bureau nexus worker and when the Foster carer has supervising. The kids ‘s positions are ever taken in private so they can talk freely without the Foster carer being present, this is to afford the kid infinite to raise concerns in maintaining with his or her rights ( Human Rights Act 1999 ) .

can this be saved?

Fostering referrals come into the bureau from the local authorization kid arrangement squads, they can be either arranged or exigency referrals. It is the duty of the bureau to measure each referral and to do appropriate lucifers with surrogate carers. Foster carers are consulted before the lucifer is made, the nexus societal worker besides meets the kid to reassure and seek the kid ‘s positions.

The Foster Carers are self employed for intents of income revenue enhancement but the bureau has taken rank for Foster Talk an administration which provides legal and insurance screen for surrogate carers. The bureau have duties to back up the Foster carers to guarantee they are supplying a secure, safe arrangement, to follow with Health and Safety ordinances and to guarantee the surrogate carer ‘s professional development.

Further to National and European demands the bureau has developed it ‘s ain company policies which include the company ‘s duties as an employer and supplier of attention. These include ; The Foster Carer Task & A ; Every Child Matters, Young People Missing from Home, Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy, Health and Safety at Work, Complaints and Whistle Blowing. These company policies are updated yearly.

To accomplish the Five Outcomes the bureau works to the UK Government Secretary for State published National Minimum Standards for Foster Care in ( 1999? ) 2000 under subdivision 23 ( 1 ) of the Care Standards Act ( 2000 ) .These are national criterions which are the demand for best pattern.

The bureau has its ain policies but besides is in concurrence with the British Association of Adoption and Fostering.

Foster Carers are given an initial preparation called & A ; lsquo ; Skills to Foster ‘ which is by the Fostering Network and provides the carers with the theoretical cognition to use to their pattern. This is supported by ongoing preparation provided by the bureau and outside administrations.

Foster Carers besides have to finish the Children ‘s Workforce, Development Council ( CWDC ) Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Care. These prescribed criterions have to be attained by 2011 by all current Foster attention practicians, and for new carers they have to be completed within the first twelvemonth.


  1. Agency Policies and Procedures, March 2009.
  2. Agency Student Handbook, October 2009.
  3. Brayne, H and Carr, H. ( 2008 ) Law for Social Workers. 10th Edition. Oxford, New York, Oxford University Press.
  4. Department for Children, Schools and Families ( 2009 ) . Every Child Matters, Common Assessment Framework ( 2006 ) ( online ) London, available from: hypertext transfer protocol: //
  5. Department of Health. Framework for the Assessment of Children In Need and their Families, ( 2000 ) ( online ) . London, available from: hypertext transfer protocol: // @ en/documents/digitalasset/dh_401430.pdf ( Accessed 09/01/2010 ) .
  6. General Social Care Council ( 2002 ) Codes of Practice for Social Care Workers. London.
  7. Great Britain ( 1989 ) Children Act 1989. Chapter 41. London, HMSO.
  8. Great Britain ( 1995 ) Disability Discrimination Act. Chapter 50. London HMSO.
  9. Great Britain ( 1998 ) Human Rights Act 1998. Chapter 42. Article 5, Article 8, Article 9, Article 10, Article 14. London HMSO.
  10. Great Britain ( 1999 ) Protection of Children Act 1999. Chapter 14. London HMSO.
  11. Great Britain ( 2000 ) Care Standards Act 2000. Chapter 14. London HMSO.
  12. Great Britain ( 2002 ) Adoption and Children Act 2002. Chapter 38. London, HMSO.
  13. Great Britain ( 2005 ) Disability Discrimination Act 2005. Chapter 13. London HMSO.
  14. Great Britain ( 2006 ) Equality Act 2006. Chapter 3. London, HMSO.
  15. UNICEF, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989. ( online ) hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed 17/12/2009 ) .

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