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Foster Carer’s Charter

Archway Care’s Foster Carers’ Charter: for foster carers, by foster carers

Children come first
Children and young people in foster care come from many different backgrounds. They deserve to experience and be part of a loving, happy family life with carers who will look after them as they would their own children. The should not feel that they stand out as a looked after child or young person or are treated differently by those around them.

Looked after children and young people must be given every support to develop their own identities and aspirations. They should be able to fulfil their potential and to have opportunities to promote their talents and skills, but most of all they should be listened to.

As for every child or young person, a looked after child or young person deserves to access and receive the best education available to them and the encouragement of everyone who is looking after them.
Our foster children and young people want love, hugs and support and they want someone who will fight for them and their rights. They want somewhere safe to live where they have the chance to grow.

Our birth children and young people must never be disregarded or neglected, not least because we recognise that birth children still living at home may play a big part in our fostering career by offering great role models for looked after children and young people. Never ignore the views and needs of your birth children; they are an essential ingredient of a successful and happy placement. Our birth children share their homes and they share their parents. They are very special children and young people.

The obligations of local authorities and fostering services
We expect local authorities and fostering services to recognise the importance that the child’s relationship with their foster family contributes to their growth and development through to adult life.

We expect local authorities and fostering services to listen to and involve foster carers and their foster children or young people when making decisions and planning. They must provide foster carers and their foster children or young people with information about each other prior to placement.

We expect local authorities and fostering services when making placements to be clear about the care and support they will provide to the child or young person into adulthood. Local authorities and fostering services need to be sensitive to the needs of the foster family and their foster children or young people when making and ending placements and have robust contingency plans should the placement not work.

We expect local authorities and fostering services to treat foster carers as core members of the team supporting the children or young people and, therefore, with openness, fairness and respect.

We expect local authorities and fostering services to support foster carers in making reasonable and appropriate decisions on behalf of their foster children and young people.

We expect local authorities and fostering services to make sure that foster carers are given clear information about any support, allowances, fees and holidays available to them.

We expect local authorities and fostering services to make sure foster carers are aware of how to deal with disputes with various agencies or during gaps in placements.

Obligations of foster carers
Foster Carers must advocate for all aspects of the child or young person’s development, including education, physical, emotional health and well-being, and cooperate fully as part of a team with other key professionals in the child or young person’s life.

Foster Carers must support their foster child or young person and do all they can to make the placement work. They must take part in learning and development and use their skills to make a positive impact on the development of the looked after child or young person.

Foster Carers must support their foster child or young person to help them to tackle any bullying and discrimination they experience due to their foster care status.

A note from foster carer to foster carer
Being a foster carer is a choice we have made to help children and young people and to make a difference. It is not an easy role, but it a rewarding one. You are not alone and you do not ever have to feel alone. We are all in it together to make a difference to the life of a child or young person in need.