Creating placement choice - 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.

The foster care services of local authority and independent fostering providers operate within the same legal framework provided by:

All fostering services are registered and inspected by the Commission for Social Care Inspection, in the context of compliance with regulations and the Fostering Services National Minimum Standards.

Where children are in foster care provided by independent fostering providers, the relevant local authority [the 'responsible authority’] remains legally responsible for them and they remain 'looked after’.

National Minimum Fostering Standard 8

Fostering service providers must ensure that they offer carers only if they represent appropriate matches for a child for whom a local authority is seeking a carer.

Delegation of fostering duties by local authorities to independent service providers

Partnership Arrangements: Regulation 40 [4] Fostering Service Regulations 2002

Independent service providers can undertake fostering duties on behalf of partner local authorities as detailed in a written agreement - Regulation 40 [4] which sets out: 

Particular child placements with independent service providers ['spot purchases’]

Regulation 40 [5]

Where a local authority proposes to make an arrangement with an independent service provider in respect of a particular child the local authority shall enter into an agreement with the registered person in respect of that child which sets out: