Delegated authority is all about giving children in care as normal a life as possible, with the same opportunities as other children. At The Fostering Network, we have resources, helplines and an online community that can help foster carers understand what day-to-day decisions they can make on behalf of the children and young people in their care.
What is delegated authority?
Delegated authority is the process that enables foster carers to make common sense, everyday decisions about the children and young people they care for, such as allowing them to go to friends’ houses for sleepovers, signing consent forms for school trips and even arranging haircuts.
Holders of parental responsibility can delegate authority to foster carers to undertake such tasks and decisions. Foster carers never have parental responsibility for a fostered child, so they can only take decisions about the fostered child where that authority has been delegated to them by the local authority and/or the parents.
Clarifying who is best placed to take everyday decisions depends on many factors: the young person’s age, views, legal status and care plan, the parents’ views and the experience and views of the foster carers. Collaboration and consultation are essential for successful working partnerships.
How we can help foster carers
Supporting placement planning handbook
Members can download these resources free of charge.
The Fostering Network can provide an in-house training course on delegated authority, tailored to meet your service’s needs. Contact our training team for more information.