Fostering legislation in Wales

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Fostering is a devolved issue in the UK. Legislation about care and foster care therefore varies across the UK. In Wales, the main legislative body is the Welsh Assembly. There is a wide range of law and guidance that has relevance for foster care in Wales.

With the evolution of Welsh Government legislative powers, there is currently no single source or site providing a comprehensive collection of all current UK and Welsh legislation.  There are three key sites to consult.

Care Council for Wales – a comprehensive range of ‘child law’.

Cardiff University Law School  – launched in 2015 and maintained by Julie Doughty, Cardiff University Law School, on child law relating to Wales.

Welsh Government – launched in 2015, covering all subject areas.

In addition, the below legislation and guidance is a starting point and is not a comprehensive guide to all legislation relating to children and young people in foster care in Wales.

Legislation

Fostering Services (Wales) Regulations 2003 – available at www.legislation.gov.uk/wsi/2003/237/contents/made

Social Services and Well Being Act 2014 – available at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/anaw/2014/4/pdfs/anaw_20140004_en.pdf   

Statutory guidance

National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services (Wales) 2003 – available at http://gov.wales/topics/health/publications/socialcare/guidance1/nmsfostering/?lang=en

Together, the Fostering Service (Wales) Regulations 2003 and these standards form the basis of the new regulatory framework under the Care Standards Act 2000 (CSA) for the conduct of fostering services.

Delegated Authority to Foster Carers 2011 – available at http://gov.wales/topics/health/publications/socialcare/guidance1/delegatedauthority/?lang=en

Statement for the advocacy of looked after children and children in need – available at http://gov.wales/about/cabinet/cabinetstatements/2014/advocacycyp/?lang=en

When I’m Ready – available at http://gov.wales/topics/health/publications/socialcare/guidance1/ready/?lang=en 

A Welsh Government scheme which supports care leavers who want to continue living with their foster carers once they turn 18, introduced across Wales from April 2015

National minimum maintenance allowances for foster carers – available at http://gov.wales/topics/health/publications/socialcare/guidance1/foster/?lang=en

Private fostering – available at http://gov.wales/topics/health/publications/socialcare/guidance1/privatefostering/?lang=en

New legislation, standards and guidance were introduced in Wales from 1 April 2006 to strengthen the requirements of the notification system first introduced by the Children Act 1989. Private foster carers and parents of children placed are required to notify the social services department in the area where the child is placed of the arrangement made.

Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) – available at http://www.independentreviewmechanism.org.uk/

The IRD Panels independently review, on behalf of Welsh Government, adoption and fostering suitability applications from potential and current adopters and foster carers, whose agency or fostering service provider has decided not to approve them as a foster carer or adopter, or to terminate or change the terms of their approval.

Other guidance

Care Council for Wales Induction Framework for Foster Carers and Short Break Carers in Wales available at – http://www.ccwales.org.uk/news/2014/04/14/launch-of-induction-framework-for-foster-care-and-short-break-care/

All Wales Child Protection Procedures 2008 - http://www.ssiacymru.org.uk/home.php?page_id=298

The 2008 procedures combine the shared knowledge and experiences of Wales's Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs).  The shared Welsh procedures have been achieved through the work of the All Wales Child Procedures Review Group which has been meeting on a regular basis since the production of the All Wales Procedures in 2002.

Kinship Care Guide for Wales – available at http://www.childreninwales.org.uk/resource/kinship-care-guide-wales/

This guide, sponsored by the Welsh Government and developed by Children in Wales, is designed to offer information to kinship carers

Other resources

Care Council for Wales, Social Services and Wellbeing Act: Information and Learning Hub – available at http://www.ccwales.org.uk/getting-in-on-the-act-hub/

Social Services Improvement Agency, An e-resources guide to the changes required by the act – available at http://www.ssiacymru.org.uk/home.php?page_id=8596  

Children’s Commissioner for Wales - The children’s commissioner champions the rights of children and young people in Wales

CAFCASS Cymru - CAFCASS Cymru is the voice of children in the family courts and helps to ensure that their welfare is put first during proceedings.

Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales - The Inspectorate is responsible for inspecting social care and social services to make sure that they are safe for the people who use them.

For more information, contact Fosterline Wales.