Fostering legislation in Wales

Social care is one of the many devolved issue in the UK to the respective nations. Legislation about care and foster care therefore varies across the UK. In Wales, the legislative body is the Welsh Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliment.  There is a wide range of law and guidance that has relevance for foster care in Wales.

During 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, however, the following may be useful: 

Cardiff University Law School  – Children’s social care law in Wales was launched in 2015 and maintained by the Cardiff University Law School. 

Law Wales and Cyfraith Cymru – provides information about Wales' constitutional arrangements and law made in Wales 

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. 


Social Services and Well Being (Wales) Act 2014 

Social Care Wales Information and Learning Hub     

Code of Practice 6 (Looked After and Accommodated Children)

Code of Practice and guidance on the exercise of social services functions and partnership arrangements in relation to Part 6 (looked after and accommodated children) of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. Including children and young people who are leaving or who have left care. 

Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016

Social Care Wales Information and Learning Hub

Statutory guidance 

The following three regulations were introduced following the 2014 and 2016 Acts: 

The Local Authority Fostering Services (Wales) Regulations 2018 and accompanying Code of Practice

The guidance in this code sets out how local authority fostering services providers and local authority managers may comply with the requirements imposed by the Regulations.    

The Regulated Fostering Services (Service Providers and Responsible Individuals) (Wales) Regulations 2019 and Statutory Guidance

Parts 2 to 11 of the Regulations, set out the requirements on a service provider in relation to the standard of service that must be provided. Parts 12 to 16 of the Regulations, set out the duties placed on the designated responsible individual in relation to a regulated service. 

The Fostering Panels (Establishment and Functions) (Wales) Regulations 2018

These Regulations set out the requirements on fostering services providers (both local authorities and independent providers) in relation to the establishment and functions of fostering panels. 


This statutory guidance for regular services relates to the Regulated Advocacy Services (Service Providers and Responsible Individuals) (Wales) Regulations 2019. It only applies to advocacy services for children, arranged by local authorities. April 2019 

SSWB Act 2014: Code of Practice 10-Advocacy  

The Regulated Advocacy Services (Service Providers and Responsible Individuals) (Wales) Regulations 2019

Social Care Wales Information and Learning Hub.

When I am Ready  

The guide supplements the statutory Code of Practice relating to Part 6 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, setting out a local authority’s legal responsibilities in respect of post-18 living arrangements to support care leavers who want to continue living with their foster carers once they turn 18.  April 2015  

In addition, The Fostering Network in Wales has developed frequently asked questions about When I am Ready aimed at providing additional information.   

Also see our webpage about When I am Ready.

National Minimum Allowances for Foster Cares 2020-2022 

National minimum weekly maintenance allowances for foster carers are set by Welsh Government.  

See The Fostering Network allowances page.

Private fostering 

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)  

The IRM 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 

Delegated Authority to Foster Carers 2011  

Delegated authority is all about giving children in care as normal a life as possible, with the same opportunities as other children. The Fostering Network, has 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. 

See Foster Carer’ Delegated Authority para 247-261 in Code of Practice 6

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children 

Children’s Legal Centre guidance for foster carers on what to expect when fostering children who are seeking asylum.  April 2019 

See The Fostering Network's resources pages  

Social Care Wales - All Wales Induction Framework for Health and Social Care (AWIF

The All Wales Induction Framework for Health and Social Care includes the knowledge, understanding and practice which should be demonstrated over time, by workers who are new to their role. We have developed guidance, progress logs, workbooks, resources and a glossary to help you implement the Induction Framework. 

Wales Safeguarding Procedures   

These national Wales Safeguarding Procedures detail the essential roles and responsibilities for practitioners to ensure that they safeguard children and adults who are at risk of abuse and neglect. 

Kinship Care Guide for Wales  

See The Fostering Network's page.

National Fostering Framework 

National Fostering Framework is a national programme to increase co-ordination; more sector-led improvement; a means of measuring, monitoring and improving performance and resource management; greater accountability and a search for economies of scale where appropriate.   

Other resources 

Social Care Wales: Information and Learning Hub 

A one-stop-shop for information and resources on Wales's social care legislation. 

Children’s Commissioner for Wales 

The children’s commissioner champions the rights of children and young people in Wales 

Children’s Legal Centre 

The Children’s Legal Centre for Wales wants to make sure that every child in Wales knows what his or her rights are and that there are laws in place to protect their rights. 


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

Care 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. 

Welsh Government 

Well-being Statement for People Who Need Care and Support and Carers Who Need Support   

For more information, contact Fosterline Wales.