The role of the Children’s Social Worker

All children placed into foster care have a children’s social worker. It is the role of the children’s social worker to complete a thorough assessment of needs of the child. The assessment requires input from the parents, health professionals, education professionals and any other involved professionals. The social worker, their manager and all of the involved professionals will take a view as to whether it would be safe for the child to return to their parents (or guardians) and what work would be needed for that to happen. During this period of time, the child may require a fostering placement for as short as one night, or potentially for several months or years. If a decision is made that the parents/guardians are unlikely to make sufficient progress (or where the harm has been so severe that it rules out any possibility of returning the child to the care of their parents), the child will remain in foster care (potentially until they are 25 years old), or the child may be adopted.

Sparks foster carers and the supervising (fostering) social workers work closely alongside children’s social workers to ensure that the child’s plan is adhered to: Every child’s care plan outlines medical, dental and school appointments, as well as other information – it would be the responsibility of the foster carer to ensure that the appointments are attended, and that the details of the appointments are shared with the children’s social worker and the Sparks Fostering supervising social worker. Sparks foster carers have a key role in contributing to the child’s care plan and ensuring that the child’s voice/view is heard by all professionals.