We have set up a Foster Care Review implementation reference group, chaired by Sandra Paterson who also chaired the Foster Care Review, to oversee progress and to advise those involved in taking forward work on each of the recommendations. The reference group first met on 22 August.
R1 Placement descriptors
We have established a short life working group on placement descriptors for care planning, chaired by Marjory Booth of the Care Inspectorate, to take forward work on foster care placement descriptors and practice guidance. This group have now met on 18 August and 23 September and have agreed foster placement descriptors, to be published on this page in due course.
R2 Database alternatives
We have established a short life working group on alternative strategies to database benefits. Chaired by Willie Evans of JMP Fostering and member of the Fostering Network’s Independent and Voluntary Providers Forum, it will look at alternative options to a foster carer database. Its first meeting will be on 3 October.
R3 Placement limits
Scottish Government policy officials are working with their legal department to amend the Looked after Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009 to introduce a maximum foster care placement limit of 3 unrelated children with the exemptions described within the recommendation.
R4 Learning and development framework
We have commissioned the Scottish Social Services Council to develop a learning and development framework for foster carers. They are using consultants to scope qualifications held by foster carers and are setting up supporting Strategic, Technical and Children and Young People’s groups to support this work.
R5 Foster care allowances
We have undertaken some research on foster care allowances which looks at current methods used across the UK to determine the level of allowances. However, more robust evidence is needed to inform future direction in Scotland and we are considering further research on minimum standards of income for families in Scotland.
R6 Foster care fees
The recommendation related to fees for foster caring is being taken forward by local authorities and we will publish an update in due course.
A National Review of Foster Care was completed in 2013, with a final report and six recommendations for improvement in:
- Placement descriptors
- National foster carer database
- Placement limits
- Learning and development