Applications to Foster, or Adopt from Employees of Calderdale Council and Potential Conflicts of Interest
This chapter is based on material, and used with permission, from Devon County Council.
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This policy applies to Calderdale Council employees, particularly to those employed within Children and Young People's Services. It also includes all Calderdale Council Councillors and other professionals who work with children and young people in Calderdale.
AMENDMENTThis guidance was reviewed throughout in June 2016 and updated as required. It should be read in full.
Children's Social Care recognises that many CYPS employees and councillors will often possess the necessary skills, understanding and motivation to become foster carers. However this must be balanced against the need to protect both staff and children from any potential conflict of interest.
The Conflict of Interest Assessment seeks to identify any potential conflicts of interest in relation to the applicant/Foster Carer and provide recommendations on how these may be avoided or effectively managed.
This form should be reviewed as part of the annual review for each Foster Carer. Where there are no changes this should be recorded in the review documentation. Where there are changes a new form should be completed and further approval sought where necessary.
2. Applications from Staff
Registration of interest forms will be accepted from employees within Calderdale MBC, including staff from Children's Social Care within the Children and Young People's Directorate, and processed in the same way as an registration of interest from a member of the public.If employees of Calderdale MBC wish to apply to foster, or adopt in Calderdale, they should make their enquiry to the Fostering, or Adoption Team.
3. Advice to Staff Applying to be a Foster Carer, or Adopter
The enquiry should be acknowledged in writing by the Fostering Team Manager.
The enquiry or application should be logged onto the relevant computer records in line with the References and Statutory Checks in Respect of Foster Carers, their Households and Networks Procedure.
The Fostering Team Manager should advise the applicants that:
- The applicant's line manager will be contacted so that actual or potential conflict of interest can be considered;
- Their application may be processed by another agency on behalf of the Directorate;
- If no conflict of interest is identified, their application will be processed in accordance with the procedures for assessing potential foster carers and adopters.
4. Mandatory Procedures
Any Calderdale Council employee wishing to become a foster carer, or adopter must complete a Conflict of Interest Assessment Form, which must be approved by the Head of Service for Children Social Care (see Local Resources).
Where, at the time of an initial visit, an enquirer is found to work with young people in Calderdale (e.g. a designated nurse for children in care), then a Conflict of Interest Assessment form should be completed.
The Conflict of Interest Assessment will be completed after the initial visit. It must be approved by the Assistant Director Early Intervention and Safeguarding before assessment (Form A10) is begun. It will include a recommendation by the Fostering/Adoption Social Worker based on the initial visit, or information and counselling visit. It will identify potential conflicts of interest and suggest ways in which these can be avoided or effectively managed.
If permission to proceed is granted, the fostering or adoption assessment will be carried out by staff and supervisors who are not in the management line of the employee.
Applicants should discuss their intension to apply with their own line managers so that potential conflicts of interest can be identified and resolutions considered at an early stage. The views of line managers will be sought in respect of such applications.
The recommendation of the Foster Care/Adoption Panel will be presented to the Agency Decision Maker for approval.
Carers understand not to access information held on the Child's Electronic Record in respect of any child/young person placed with them or previously placed. To do so could result in disciplinary procedures, and is a breach of the DPA 1998.
See: Local Resources for the Conflict of Interest Assessment Form.