Fostering legislation, regulation and inspection

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Fostering is a devolved issue in the UK. Legislation about care and foster care, therefore, varies across the UK. The Fostering Network provides links to the key pieces of legislation and guidance in each of the four nations.

In England, Scotland and Wales all fostering services are governed by legislation, regulation, standards and statutory guidance. To measure compliance with these, fostering services are subject to regulation and inspection by the national care inspection body operating in each of the three nations. 

Fostering legislation

In England the main legislative body is the Westminster parliament and primary responsibility for fostering in England is held by the Department for Education. Read more about fostering legislation in England.

In Northern Ireland, the main legislative body is the Northern Ireland Assembly. Read more about fostering legislation in Northern Ireland.

In Scotland, the main legislative body is the Scottish Parliament. Read more about fostering legislation in Scotland.

In Wales, the main legislative body is the Welsh Assembly. Read more about fostering legislation in Wales.

 

Regulation and inspection of fostering services

In England, Scotland and Wales all fostering services are governed by legislation, regulation, standards and statutory guidance. To measure compliance with these, fostering services are subject to regulation and inspection by the national care inspection body operating in each of the three nations. The care inspection bodies are responsible for the registration of fostering services and set standards which must be met before registration is granted. It is illegal to operate a fostering service prior to registration. In Northern Ireland there is no inspection of fostering services as there are no standards against which to inspect.

Read more about the regulation and inspection of fostering services

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