Contact is about children’s needs when they are separated from their families and the places familiar to them. At The Fostering Network, we have resources, helplines, and an online community to help foster carers understand how to navigate the complexities surrounding contact and the looked after child.
What is contact?
Contact arrangements involve the child or young person and their family members. They can include extended family and friends.
Foster carers play a crucial role in supporting children’s relationships. They need to offer a consistent, reliable base from which children can connect with their families safely. Their approach to the tasks involved in contact has implications for the welfare of their fostered children at the time and in the longer term.
Every looked after child should have their own overall care plan in which a contact plan outlines all the arrangements in relation to contact. This plan should refer specifically to how the child will maintain links with and receive information about family and friends.
From face-to-face contact to overnight stays, letters, phone calls, emails, and texts, there are a number of different ways contact with families can take place.
However, not all children must have contact with their families. Children must always be protected from people who are dangerous or pose risks to their physical or emotional welfare.
How we help foster carers
Contact by Jackie Slade
Our Fostering Community Champions programme has also produced a document called Positive Contact which included top tips for foster carers regarding their role in
supporting positive contact for children and young people in their care.
Download Positive Contact (members only)