§ Jacqui Smith
Foster carers are not registered with the local authority. Instead they are approved by a panel set up for the purpose of approving foster carers. Once approval is confirmed the local authority is required to enter in a register the particulars for each foster parent in their area who is approved, and each person not being an approved foster parent with whom a child is placed under regulation 11 in their area. This is not intended to mean that foster carers are 'registered' with the local authority.
In the case of private fostering arrangements, there is no requirement for private foster carers to register with the local authority. Both the private foster carer and the person with parental responsibility have a duty to notify the local authority that a private fostering arrangement is in existence, or about to take place, in order for that local authority to fulfil its obligations under Part 9 of the Children Act 1989.
The role of the local authority is to satisfy themselves that the welfare of the child is being satisfactorily safeguarded and promoted by supervising, regulating and advising in respect of the private placement. The local authority is required to visit at specified intervals and to report on these visits. They have the power to impose requirements, or if there are serious concerns, to prohibit the fostering arrangement.945W
§ Jacqui Smith
Joint work on a code of practice for the recruitment, assessment, approval, training, management and support of foster carers was carried out by the United Kingdom Joint Working Party on Foster Care. The document setting that code out was published in June 1999, and was intended to be implemented from that date.