Why Children Need Fostering Homes

Social workers are legally not allowed to remove children from their homes without parental consent unless there is reason to believe there is ‘significant risk of harm’ to the child/ren. The harm may be neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. When there are concerns about risk of harm, all professionals involved with the child/ren are consulted, which includes education and health professionals. The children’s social worker is also supported by their line manager. The decision to place a child into foster care is a joint decision made by several professionals and the work that needs to be done with the child and family is also planned by the ‘team around the child’.

Sometimes children are placed into foster care with the consent of (or at the request of) the child’s birth family. This can happen when the child’s family feels that they are not able to meet the needs of the child. Social workers are obligated to offer support to the family before agreeing to place the child into a fostering home. 

Some children are removed from the care of their parents/guardians because of risk of harm outside the home – for example if the child/young person is being exploited, or targeted by gangs, and there is risk to the child and family, it may be decided that the child should be moved away until the situation becomes stable (the police would be involved in these circumstances).

Further information about harm to children is provided in the Sparks Fostering ‘Safeguarding Policy’ and linked policies.