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Policies

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National Legislative and Policy Framework 

This Statement of Purpose has been developed in accordance with the Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011 and associated statutory guidance (both as amended) and the National Minimum Standards 2011. Family Fostering Ltd is registered with and inspected by Ofsted. First Steps Fostering Limited has organisational membership with Fostering Network.  

 

Safeguarding 
First Steps Fostering is committed to ensuring a safe environment for everyone connected to the service. We strive to ensure our foster carers homes are welcoming and safe, that our foster carers are reflective and skilled in providing a safe and nurturing environment to parents and their children. Our fostering Social Workers have several years' experience in safeguarding children’s teams for Local Authorities and are adept in supporting carers to work with the trauma that parents have suffered.  


First Steps Fostering’s safeguarding procedures set out a clear format for the reporting of any child protection matter to the Registered Manager or Responsible Individual. The overriding aim is to ensure the protection of children/young people. The Registered Manager or Responsible Individual will seek to ascertain accurate details of any allegation and will liaise with the child’s placing authority, the Local Authority Designated Officer, and the area authority in which the foster carer(s) reside. A joint decision will be made about whether there is a need for further safeguarding action in respect to protecting the child or children. As a preventative measure, stringent checks are completed prior to foster carer’s approval and employment of all staff and updated within legislative timescales.  

 

Policies and Procedures 
First Steps Fostering Agency has comprehensive foster carer policies, procedures, and practice manuals in accordance with regulations. Our foster carer’s handbook and manuals contain information on Safeguarding/Child Protection, Safer Caring, First Aid, Unauthorised Absence, Health and Safety Matters, Training, Financial Matters and Complaints, Record Keeping and others.  

Children’s Participation 
First Steps Fostering are committed to ensuring that the voice of the child is heard despite the provision being for pre-school children and their parents. Fostering Social Workers will include regular observations as part of their visits and will engage in reflective supervision to understand better that child’s lived experience. There will also be frequent communication with the child’s Social Worker, IRO, and Guardian to ensure that there is a holistic and child centred approach. 

 

Finance 
In accordance with NMS 2011 Standard 28 foster carers will receive an allowance. With regards to the fostering allowance there are certain minimum amounts of the allowance which are allocated for specific purposes. Foster carers will be advised that the allowance must cater for all the children’s needs. Within our parent and child placement the parent will continue to claim state benefit unless they are looked after themselves.  


Complaints Procedure 
In accordance with NMS 2011 Standard 25 First Steps Fostering have developed a comprehensive complaints procedure and will appoint an Independent Complaints Officer if the need arises. The Complaints procedure is accessible available to service users and is reviewed regularly to ensure acceptable function and to identify any patterns and action taken on individual complaints. First Steps Fostering take complaints seriously and seek to resolve matters at the earliest opportunity with consideration as to how future occurrences can be avoided through the revision of policy, practices and procedure. First Steps fostering consider all opportunities as a learning opportunity and seek to develop the services they provide.

 

Recruitment 
We have an on-going programme of recruitment, using word of mouth as a result of the reputation built by First Steps Fostering for being a excellent provision, the internet and local advertisement. Enquiries and applications to foster are welcomed from all backgrounds regardless of gender, marital status, sexuality, race, disability, religion, and culture or employment status. We aim to recruit foster carers who share our value base and demonstrate the key skills needed to support parents and their children. Our assessment and approval process fully comply with the Assessment and Approval of Foster Carers: Amendments to the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations. Volume 4: Fostering Services July 2013. 

 

Learning and Development 
First Steps Fostering consider training and support as essential to equip staff and foster carers with the knowledge and skills they need to offer effective modelling and care. We provide a statutory and mandatory training package for all as well as identifying individual and tailored training. All foster carers will be fully supported to complete their Training, Support and Development Standards portfolio within the legislated timescales.

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