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Your rights as a relative, kinship or foster carer

As a relative, kinship or foster carer you have certain rights. 

Be informed

  • To have the goals and expectations of each placement made clear to you. 
  • To be adequately prepared for placement.
  • To be able to make an informed choice about a placement starting or finishing. 
  • To have as much information as you need to meet the individual needs of the child in your care. 
  • To be adequately warned about a potential risk to you or your family's safety. 
  • To be told about how decisions may be reviewed and how you can make a complaint.

Be involved

  • To have a say in any matter that affects you. 
  • To be respected as a member of the care team with unique knowledge and skills.
  • To make certain decisions regarding the day to day care and control of the child/young person and be acknowledged as a co-parent for the child. 
  • To be consulted on your views of the alternative care system. 

Adequate support

  • To be given prompt initial support when a placement begins. 
  • To receive an ongoing level of support in keeping with the needs of the child. 
  • To have a placement support worker who will advocate for your needs when required. 
  • To have the support of other carers who understand your situation. 
  • To receive adequate and timely financial reimbursement that meets the agreed needs of the children in your care. 
  • To be safe from harm caused by the child or their family members. 
  • To be entitled to replacement or repair of loss or damage to your home or possessions by a child in care. 

Respect and consideration

  • To have the impact of fostering on you and your family considered. 
  • To be listened to with understanding and sensitivity and your feelings and emotional involvement recognised. 
  • To have the child's emotional connection to you taken into account in placement decision making and case planning. 
  • To receive placement preservation services to ensure that the child has been moved from your care as a last resort. 
  • To be treated with courtesy and respect in all communications and negotiations. If you are a relative or kinship carer, have the particular challenges of this role acknowledged and taken into consideration.
  • To have the confidentiality of your personal information protected.  

Fairness and openness

  • To be treated in a non-discriminatory manner.
  • To see any information recorded about you, (within legal constraints), and not be charged for the cost of this. 
  • For big decisions to be made in full consultation with you, (as well as the child/young person and the parents), and be made aware of the processes whereby you can exercise your right of challenge. 
  • For your complaints to be taken seriously and dealt with fairly, promptly and without retribution. 
  • If concerns are raised about the quality of your care, for this to be dealt with in a fair and prompt manner and mindful of the emotional impact on you and your family.