The Islington Foster Carers’ Charter outlines what you can expect from us as a foster carer organisation and what we expect from you as an Islington foster carer. It has been created through extensive consultation and agreement through Islington Foster Carer providers and our foster carers and explains what we expect from each other.
Foster carers are at the heart of the foster care service. They are assessed trained and developed to look after children and young people in a family environment, providing them with stability, care and an opportunity to grow and develop and to reach their potential. Our working relationships are based on mutual trust and respect.
We recognise that in order for children to live a full family life, foster carers must be able to make decisions regarding the children they foster. We will ensure that, where possible, foster carers are empowered to make day-to-day decisions so children can feel part of your family and do not feel different from their friends, having regard to the wishes of parents and the courts. We will discuss and agree about any decisions you can make from the start of the placement, in the child’s placement plan and in reviewing it at the child’s review.
We recognise that fostering can be isolating and challenging and the right support makes all the difference to the foster family and to the child in your care. We will do all that we can to support you, including:
We offer a range of support groups to all our foster carers to attend all groups they wish. Find out more about support we provide.
We believe that foster carers must be enabled to access learning and development opportunities to make sure they have the skills and knowledge they need so they can help transform the lives of foster children. We will provide you and your family with relevant training, sometimes with consortium colleagues. Learn more with our training programme. Our virtual school offers you opportunities to help children do their best at school. We offer you the Get Ready for Adult life toolkit to help you prepare young people for independent living and support for young people from the Independent Futures service.
We recognise that foster carers have a right to be treated fairly no matter what the circumstances. We will consult with you before changing terms and conditions, ensuring openness in all our discussions with you. We will ensure that you are treated with respect, kept informed and provided with independent support from the consortium scheme if you are subject to an allegation. We will provide a framework for dealing with allegations and keep to timescales. We will ensure that you know the financial arrangements during an investigation.
We will respect and promote a child’s religious, linguistic and cultural heritage, offer the same level of care and protection as we would want for our own children. We will encourage and inspire every child to achieve their aspirations and potential, to give them the best opportunities for their future careers, ensuring that children have the right to have a say in decisions about their own lives. We will ensure that we have a good support network of people involved with the child so there is stability in their lives.
We believe that open dialogue is the key to a good relationship. We will inform our supervising social worker about any changes in our household as any changes will affect a foster child. We will inform our supervising social worker about any difficulties that arise for us.
We will attend learning and development offered to us as foster carers to ensure we have the skills we need to develop our practice, so we can transform the lives of children we foster. We will attend relevant training, take up opportunities offered to us and let you know if we are unable to attend. We will attend and contribute to support groups.
We believe that open and honest dialogue is the key to a good relationship. We will respond to local consultations and discussion in order to inform the development of the service. We will also meet with councillors, managers and others to promote dialogue and a good working relationship.