Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual
Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual

6.1.22 Foster Carer Equipment Guidance

This chapter was added to this manual in November 2013.


Contents

  1. Aim
  2. Legislative Summary
  3. Assessment and Approval of Foster Carers
  4. Purchasing Equipment
  5. Disposal and Replacement of Equipment
  6. Health and Safety


1. Aim

To help ensure that foster children live in foster homes where the physical environment is suitable to their needs.


2. Legislative Summary

The Children Act 1989, section 22 (3a) dictates that it is the responsibility of the Local Authority to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of all children looked after by them.

Standard 10.2 of the Fostering Service National Minimum Standards (2011) requires that the foster home is adequately furnished.

Regulation 26 (3) (a) of The Fostering Service Regulations (2011) places a duty on fostering service providers to establish the suitability of the fostering household.


3. Assessment and Approval of Foster Carers

Assessing social workers must establish what equipment is already owned by applicants for the purpose of fostering. These items should be checked against the foster carer equipment identified on the ‘Foster Carer Equipment Sheet’.

Any equipment that has been identified as essential, but is not available in the applicant’s home, should be recorded as ‘Not Available’ on the ‘Foster Carer Equipment Sheet’. 

Upon approval, supervising social workers (SSWs) must ensure that arrangements for purchasing outstanding items (i.e. those recorded as ‘Not Available’ under the ‘Basic Equipment’ section on the ‘Foster Carer Equipment Sheet’) are followed through.


4. Purchasing Equipment

Foster carers discuss and request equipment via their SSW.

The purchasing of equipment must be approved by the relevant Fostering and Adoption manager prior to purchase.

Once approved the foster carer will need to purchase the items identified and provide receipts for all items, these costs will then be reimbursed. In the event of hardship payment can be made within allowances, however if receipts aren’t provided deductions will be made from future allowances.

SSWs are required to complete and ‘Equipment Request Form’ when making requests for the purchase of equipment.

It is recommended that outstanding equipment is purchased by foster carers post approval. This applies to existing carers where their change in approvals status as resulted in the need for additional equipment.

Where carers prefer to purchase equipment according to their own personal style or tastes, carers will be required to pay any additional cost above the maximum amount offered by the department (see ‘Equipment Request Form’).


5. Disposal and Replacement of Equipment

Foster carers are expected to dispose of equipment that is no longer useable.

SSWs will inspect the state of equipment before it is replaced or disposed of.

Foster carers must agree the replacement of equipment with their SSW who will complete an ‘Equipment Request Form’.


6. Health and Safety

All products purchased should be kitemarked where this is applicable.

Reference should be made to RoSPA Guidance where appropriate.

For baby placements a new mattress should be purchased for each new child.

Professional advice should be sought when fitting car seats.

Equipment should be checked and reviewed as part of the annual health and safety check.

End