As part of the revision of the legal framework for looked after children, the Department has today published revised regulations, statutory guidance and national minimum standards for children’s homes and fostering services. In addition, the Department has, for the first time, published statutory guidance on support for family and friends carers across the range of legal arrangements. The new framework comes into force on 1 April 2011.
The revised Fostering Services (England) Regulations and related guidance and national minimum standards provide clarification for fostering services on a number of areas, for example, delegation of authority to foster carers, parent and child arrangements and back-up carers. In addition, the revised framework provides increased flexibility for fostering services in areas such as fostering panel membership and the use of foster carers in roles such as mentoring and training.
Key to the revised children's homes regulations and guidance is the principle that providers must only accept placements compatible with their statement of purpose. Regulations and guidance concerning behaviour management and restraint have been significantly amended so that all homes provide a positive caring environment that enables every child to reach their potential.
The revised framework is available from the Department’s Children in Care Regulations and Guidance section. The website has been designed to put the core regulations and guidance that make up the revised legal framework, including the regulations and guidance published today, in one place, to help make the framework as easy to access as possible for all those needing to use it.
During March 2011 the Department is holding free "train the trainer" events to help organisations and practitioners working with looked after children in preparing to implement the revised legal framework.
Statutory guidance on the Children's Homes Regulations 2001 (amended).