Physical health - legislation
Law and standards
The Law and Standards sections apply to England only.
A brief indication of how the law changed upon full implementation (September 2004 and September 2005) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 is inserted in italics.
Compliance with statute and regulations is mandatory; compliance with standards is taken into account by the CSCI when registering and inspecting fostering service providers.
FSR 2002 Regulation 15  and  and , and Arrangements for Placement of Children [General] Regulations1991 as amended, and Children Act [Miscellaneous Amendments] [England] Regulations 2002
National Minimum Fostering Standard 6
The fostering service provider must ensure that it provides foster care services which help each child or young person in foster care to receive health care which meets his/her needs for physical, emotional and social development, together with information and training appropriate to her/his age and understanding, to enable informed participation in decisions about her/his health needs.
Health assessments before placement in foster care
A responsible authority shall, before making a placement, or if that is not reasonably practical as soon as is reasonably practical after a placement has been made, make arrangements for a registered medical practitioner to conduct an assessment, which may include a physical examination, of the child’s state of health. [This does not apply if the child, being of sufficient understanding to do so, refuses to consent to the examination.]
Regular health reviews
FSR 2002 Regulation 6 and Review of Children’s Cases Regulations 1991 as amended
The responsible authority must make arrangements for a child who continues to be looked after by them to receive a health assessment, which may include a physical examination, and for a written report on the state of health of the child and his need for health care to be made by a registered medical practitioner or registered nurse under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner -
- at least once in every period of six months before the child's fifth birthday
- at least once in every period of twelve months after the child's fifth birthday
unless the child is of sufficient understanding and refuses the assessment.
Prohibition on corporal punishment by foster parents, and behaviour management Fostering Services Regulations 2002 Regulation 13  and 
The fostering service provider shall prepare and implement a written policy on acceptable measures of control, restraint and discipline of children placed with foster parents.
Foster parents are required to agree in writing that:
- no form of corporal punishment is used on any child placed with a foster parent
- no child placed with foster parents is subject to any measure of control, restraint or discipline which is excessive or unreasonable
- physical restraint is used on a child only where it is necessary to prevent likely injury to the child or other persons or likely serious damage to property.
Looked-after children should be granted the same permissions to take part in acceptable age-appropriate peer activities as would reasonably be granted by the parents of their peers. However, where exceptional circumstances mean that this is not possible, the decision should be based on clear reasons and stated in the child's care plan, and where practical the child's views and feelings should be taken into account.
Local authorities are now expected to review their policies and practices in accordance with this new guidance, and to ensure that carers, staff, children and young people are aware of the situation.