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Job Description for Foster Carers

Job Description for Foster Carers

Caring for a child or young person

Specific Responsibilities Skills Needed
1.1 To provide day to day care for a child/young person, taking account of the particular issues for children/young people who are separated from their families.
  • An ability to provide a good standard of care to other people’s children.
  • An ability to promote healthy development including emotional, physical, sexual and educational.
  • An ability to recognise the needs of children/young people and to prioritise these needs.
  • To develop and maintain a secure, healthy relationship between the child/young person and yourself.
1.2 To participate in developing the plans for the child/young person and to make sure these plans are carried out. To undertake specified tasks in the care plan for the child.
  • An ability to take responsibility for completing identified tasks.
  • An ability to work well with all those people in a child or young person’s network, including the child’s family, social worker, other professionals and people who are significant to a child or young person.
1.3 To promote the healthy growth and development of the child or young person with a particular emphasis on health and education.
  • A knowledge of child development and an ability to provide experiences which will stimulate a child/young person and provide opportunities to develop new skills.
  • An ability to manage the health needs of children and young people in a proactive way and encourage the child to value their own health.
  • An ability to encourage full participation in educational activities, and to work together with education professionals.
  • An ability to transport children and young people to and from school and other educational activities.
  • An ability to set appropriate boundaries and manage a child or young person’s behaviour without the use of physical or other inappropriate punishment.
1.4 To ensure that the child or young person is encouraged to develop and maintain a positive understanding of their origins, religion and culture.
  • An ability to listen and communicate with children and young people in ways appropriate for their age and understanding.
  • A respect for the child or young person’s origins, religion and culture and a willingness to learn more and to enable the child or young person to participate in cultural and religious activities.
1.5 To assist and support parents and others who are significant in a child or young person’s life to develop and maintain healthy relationships with them.
  • An ability to remain respectful of parents and others, and to communicate well with them.
  • An ability to understand the important role of parents and others in the lives of looked after children and to involve the parent (as appropriate) in the child’s life.
  • A willingness to facilitate contact which may include providing transport or supporting a child or young person through the process.
1.6 To assist children and young people to move on in a positive manner.
  • An ability to communicate with children and young people about the reasons for the move in a positive manner.
  • An ability to encourage the child or young person to develop good relationships with the future carers.
  • An ability to help the child or young person gain and maintain memories of the time they have spent with you.
  • An ability to share what you have learnt about the child or young person’s needs with both the social worker and future carers.
  • An ability to manage your own feelings about the move in a way which is beneficial for the child or young person.
  • To support young people into independence if appropriate.

Providing a safe and caring environment

Specific Responsibilities Skills Needed
2.1 To ensure that a child or young person is kept safe from harm and abuse, and that they are taught how to get help if they are worried or frightened by anyone or anything.
  • A willingness to develop a safe caring policy within your household, with the help of a worker from the fostering team.
  • An ability to ensure that a child or young person is kept safe from harm or abuse.
  • An ability to discuss issues surrounding harm and abuse with children and young people in a way which is appropriate to their age and understanding. By doing so, to help children develop skills and strategies to keep themselves safe from harm and abuse and to know how to seek help if their safety is threatened.
  • An ability to provide children with the opportunities and confidence to tell you if they are or have been harmed in any way.
2.2 To act as an advocate for each child and young person.
  • An ability to talk with children and young people about what they think and feel.
  • An ability to respect the child or young person’s point of view and to help them share their point of view, even if you personally disagree with it.
  • An ability to challenge professionals where appropriate and yet still maintain a good working relationship with them.

Working as part of a team

Specific Responsibilities Skills Needed
3.1 To be part of the service and work with staff and other professionals within guidelines, policies and procedures.
  • An ability to communicate and work with a wide range of people, including professionals.
  • A willingness to learn about the department’s guidelines, policies and procedures, with the support of your supervising fostering worker.
3.2 To attend and actively participate in all reviews, family meetings, case conferences and court hearings as required.
  • An ability to attend all appropriate meetings and to share your views, either verbally or in writing (with the help of your supervising worker if necessary).
  • An ability to support the child or young person through any meetings they may be required to attend.
3.3 To keep written records of placements and to contribute to the child or young person’s file and records.
  • A willingness to learn about what needs to be recorded and how.
  • An ability to keep records and store them in a safe place.
  • A willingness to share information with the child or young person’s social worker and your own supervising worker.
  • An ability to help the child or young person gain and maintain memories of their life.
3.4 To deal responsibly with confidential information.
  • An ability to keep information confidential.
  • A willingness to learn (with your supervising worker) about what information may be shared with whom.

Developing further skills as a carer

Specific Responsibilities Skills Needed
4.1 To contribute to your own development as professional carers.
  • An ability to appreciate how personal experiences have affected yourself and your family, and the impact fostering is likely to have on your whole family.
  • An ability to think about your own actions and attitudes and the impact these have on other people.
  • An ability to develop a good support network and to make use of this network, including attending foster carers’ support groups.
  • A willingness to take part fully in training opportunities.
  • An ability to sustain positive and effective relationships through periods of difficulty and stress. 
Page last updated: 25 November 2009