- Количество слайдов: 31
Moving forward with Delegated Authority
The vision Improved experience for children in foster care and a workforce of foster carers who are viewed as integral to planning and decision making.
Course objectives • Building trust and confidence across teams and roles - better working together. • Understand be more confident in applying the new legal context which is supportive of delegated authority. • Consider the reasons why this area of practice is crucial to children’s experience of foster care. • Look at the issues round the sharing and balance of responsibilities from the perspectives of those most closely concerned with the child’s care and welfare. • Recognise the links between the delegated authority agenda and the status and role of foster carers. • Benefit from some of the findings of the delegated authority project and consider how some of the projects tools could improve practice.
What Delegated Authority is about • Dispensing with myths and confusions about delegated authority. • Reducing children’s sense of difference. • Reducing contributors to delay. • More productive and thoughtful thinking about who is best placed to do what. • Discussion and forward planning re agreement and consent issues. • Inclusivity and viewing foster carers as part of the team around the child. • Clarity and transparency. • Better use of existing processes and roles.
What Delegated Authority is NOT about • • • Blanket responses and approaches. Fashions and fads in child care. Foster carers ‘going it alone’. Excluding parents or encroaching on their rights. Excluding social workers. Foster carers being exposed and punished when things go wrong. • Reducing attention to assessing risk.
Trends since 2001
What Care Matters (2007) had to say about Delegated Authority • The complex and fragmented parenting arrangements for young people in foster care. • The implications of this for the quality of young people’s day to day lives and on placement stability. • The necessity of children's and fostering services making more refined and child focussed decisions about who can agree what for fostered children. • The role and significance of the placement planning and review processes for children’s experience of foster care and placement stability.
Delegated Authority – what legislation?  The Children Act 1989 • Sections 2 to 4 A concern parental responsibility; • Sections 20 to 23 concern looked after children; • Sections 31 to 34 concern care orders. The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010: • Regulation 9 and schedule 2 concern the Placement Plan. The Children Act 1989 Statutory Guidance Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2010): • Chapter 3 concerns the placement and has sections on the placement plan and shared responsibilities and consents.
Delegated Authority – what legislation?  The Children Act 1989 Statutory Guidance Volume 4: Fostering Services: • Chapter 3 contains a section on foster carers’ delegated authority and it also refers to delegated authority in sections on contact with family and friends; achieving healthy outcomes for looked after children; and educational achievement. The Children Act 1989 Statutory Guidance Volume 1: Court Orders • Chapter 3 contains a section on the effect of care orders.
Delegated Authority – what legislation?  The revised National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services (2011): • Standard 6 refers to delegation of decisions about health; • Standard 7 refers to delegation of decision making about education, leisure activities, overnight stays, holidays and personal issues such as haircuts; • Standard 9 refers to delegation of decision making about contact. IRO handbook: statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children (2010).
Care Planning Regulations and Guidance 2010 • Placement Plan before placement or within five days. • The Placement Plan is part of the Care Plan: both are considered at every review. • Clarity and transparency about ‘day to day decision making’. • Involvement for parents at early stage including when there is a care order. • Enhanced IRO role. • Likely that greater delegation to foster carers will be agreed in long term placements.
Fostering Regulations and Guidance 2011  • • Foster carers (FCs) – core member of team. FCs involvement in all aspects of the care plan. Levels of authority clear. FCs know what authority they have about everyday matters. • Review of placement plan at every review. • Everyday decisions should be delegated to FCs unless those with parental responsibility do not agree that this is the most apprpriate way to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare.
Fostering Regulations and Guidance 2011 • Five days for production of placement plan. • Only in exceptional cases should there be restriction on FCs agreeing overnight stays. • Children’s feelings must be taken into account. • FCs should take reasonable precautions in assessing risk (as any good parent would). • Administering basic first aid and meet specific individual needs.
National Minimum Standards 2011 • Foster carers understand what is in the child’s placement plan and have clarity about decisions they can make about the day to day arrangements for the child, including such matters as education, leisure activities, overnight stays, holidays, and personal issues such as hair cuts. • Foster carers are supported to make reasonable and appropriate decisions within the authority delegated to them, without having to seek consent unnecessarily.
National Minimum Standards 2011 • Children take part in age appropriate peer activities as would normally be granted by the parent to their children and within the framework of the placement plan, decision-making and any assessment of risk to the child should be undertaken on the same basis as a reasonable parent would do. • Children are encouraged and enabled to make and sustain friendships, which may involve friends visiting and reciprocal arrangements to visit friends’ homes. • Children can stay overnight with friends if foster carers consider it appropriate in individual circumstances and subject to the requirements of care or placement plans, without a requirement that friends’ parents should be police or CRB checked.
Other NMS on delegation • Children’s health is promoted in accordance with their placement plan and foster carers are clear about what responsibilities and decisions are delegated to them and where consent for medical treatment needs to be obtained. • Foster carers understand what decisions about contact are delegated to them, in line with the child’s care plan, and make those decisions in the child’s best interests.
Healthy Attachment Cycle Baby has a need Trust develops Baby cries Needs met by caregiver
We do it really well in this authority. Is it really a problem? ‘One of the things I hated about being in care was having a carer who really wasn’t allowed to be a carer …. . then having another group of people I almost never see trying to make all the decisions about my daily life… My first family couldn’t cope: my new family wasn’t allowed to cope. I’m sure it was more about the system caring for itself first and me second. ’
Issues for social workers  • There was acknowledged lack of awareness about the extent to which authority and consents could be delegated – either in strict legal terms or within the procedures and guidance of their own service. • SW have different degrees of knowledge about fostering services – the in house service, internal specialisms and payments, sector issues. • Some are not keen on delegation in principle – ‘they don’t get paid to make decisions’. • There can be a tendency to work in knee jerks - locked into having to get agreements for each separate issue as it arises.
Issues for social workers  • Sometimes, a lack of distinction between different types and qualities of decision e. g. consents that need signatures, implicit consents and the range of other responsibilities and tasks that might be delegated. • SWs and SSWs did not always agree about areas for delegation of authority making this a difficult area for foster carers. • Over simplistic thinking – ‘foster carers never have PR so they cannot make decisions’.
Issues for foster carers  • Feel caught between the children and the social workers. • Feel social workers could work with (some) parents more productively when their behaviour regarding consents and willingness to exercise PR is not in their children’s interests. • Are quite cautious - not all are keen to extend their responsibilities. • Work with a huge fear of the consequences of getting it wrong. • Are frequently allocated tasks and not involved as participants in working out who is best placed to do what. • Experience social workers who do not know who can agree what within their own departments.
Issues for foster carers  • Experience inconsistencies between workers – problems when workers change. • Are sometimes encouraged to get on with it and then find themselves wrong footed. • Lack trust that the service will support them even if they exercise their judgment in an appropriate way. • Often not clear (and have no way of thinking about ) the spectrum of consents , agreements and tasks that need to be distributed between parents, social worker and foster carer. A few may be pinned down in planning meetings but after that it’s hit and miss.
Barriers • A risk averse culture – who gets pilloried? • Lack of discussion about PR and how tasks and decision-making may be delegated to best meet the child’s needs. • Problems of communication across the social worker/supervising social worker / foster carer interfaces. • The complexity of the field. • Placements made in haste and managed in haste. • Lack of clear policy and procedures or the existence of guidance in different documents - leaving many people working on basis of assumptions.
Project resources and tools • • • Delegated Authority Handbook. DVD – young people’s perspectives. Legal FAQs. Medical treatment authorisation card. Information for parents. Summary report for childcare and fostering services and corporate parenting boards. • Working together training course.
Principles underpinning the project resources  1. Clarity and transparency in the Placement Plan about who does what and when. 2. Timely decision making. 3. The degree of delegation of decision making should be influenced by the care plan. 4. Children’s and young people’s views will be sought and taken into account depending on their age and capacity. 5. The wishes and feelings of the foster carer will be considered and recorded. 6. The local authority can only restrict a parents exercise of their PR if there is a care order in place and if it is necessary to do so to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare.
Principles underpinning the project resources  7. Parents need therefore to be clear about what has been agreed in relation to delegated authority. The legal requirements in terms of good partnership working with the family apply whatever the child’s legal status. 8. The functioning of the ‘core team’ (social worker, foster carer and supervising social worker ) and its role in problem solving and conflict resolution requires attention in its own right. 9. Foster carers will be trained and supported to develop in respect of the tasks and responsibilities they undertake.