Foster care registration disputes
Due to the nature and type of service provided by Foster Carers they are always prone to having allegations made against them. This is not unsurprising given that they look after some of the most vulnerable members of society, namely young children who may have had a lifetime of abuse.
Typically, the allegations that we are called upon to advise Foster Carers and their families on are in relation to:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse, and or
- General standards of poor care and/or neglect
Some of the allegations will involve a police investigation where we will be instructed to advise and represent our clients. Other allegations will not be deemed serious enough to be investigated by the police but will inevitably involve the Local Authority where the Foster Carer is registered to conduct its own inquiry. Normally, there will be a meeting known as a strategy meeting which involves various parties. The meeting is designed to discuss and decide on the safeguarding issues that are believed to have arisen.
These investigations can be extremely complex and as they will involve issues of confidentiality, the accused carers need our expert advice and assistance. This will often mean going through the alleged incidents and taking full details. There is usually a specialist report prepared by social services and this will need to be considered so that any response covers the relevant issues raised in that report.
Part of our advice will be governed by looking at the placement plans and safe caring plans of the children and whether the appropriate assessments were made prior to the placement being made. For example, it may be that the Local Authority procedures were not as robust or thorough as they should have been.
Our team have the necessary skills to guide Foster Carers through this complex and traumatic process to try and ensure the best possible outcome.
Please speak with our key contacts for assistance with any of these issues.