Facing an allegation of abuse or neglect is something that some foster carers will, unfortunately, experience during their fostering career. This is inevitably a distressing time for everyone involved. The Fostering Network has resources, helplines, advice and mediation services and training to help foster carers and their families if an allegation is made.
What is an allegation?
An allegation is an assertion from any person that a foster carer or another member of the fostering household has or may have behaved in a way that has harmed a child, committed a criminal offence against a child or behaved towards a child in a way that indicates they are unsuitable to work with children.
Allegations are more serious than general complaints against foster carers because allegations have to be investigated under the local child protection procedure. Allegations should be treated differently from concerns about poor standards of care.
The public authority (the local authority or health and social care trust) in which the foster carer lives, the fostering service they work for, the public authority responsible for the fostered child and the police will all be involved in deciding exactly how a particular allegation is investigated.
How we can help foster carers
Allegations: Signposts in Fostering
an explanation of what allegations are and why they are made
- suggestions of good practice to minimise the risk of an allegation
- advice about what to do if an allegation is made
- advice on how to seek legal support in the event of an allegation
- information on what might happen once an allegation has been made
sources of further assistance and independent support.
Members of The Fostering Network can purchase our Allegations publication online for just £2 (the Signpost is available for £4 to those who are not members of The Fostering Network).