Supervising Social Workers (SSW's)
All approved parents will be supervised by a named, appropriately qualified social worker, known as the Supervising Social Worker (SSW).
The primary role of the Supervising Social Worker is to ensure that you have access to adequate social work and other professional support, information and advice, to enable you to provide consistent, high quality care for any child placed in your home. It is the duty of the Supervising Social Worker to ensure that each foster parent he or she supervises is informed in writing of, and accepts, understands and operates within, all Regulations and Standards and policies and guidance agreed by the fostering service.
How this is achieved will vary from parent to parent depending on their individual needs, but in all cases the Supervising Social Worker will:
- Complete a Foster Parent Agreement or Short Break Agreement with you at their first visit after your approval, and where these undertakings will be
- Ensure that you have received your approval letter, are informed in writing of, accept, understand and agree to operate within all standards, policies and guidance agreed by the fostering service
- Ensure that you are supplied with up to date copies of the Foster Parent Handbook and Children’s Guide
- Carry out an annual review of your registration as a parent
- Identify, in partnership with you, training needs and identify how these will be met
- Ensure that your personnel training plans are put in place
- Ensure that you receive the necessary training and support to complete the 7 standards of the Training, Support, and Development Standards (TSD).
- Ensure that you produce and maintain safe caring guidelines for your household
- Ensure that any complaint by or against you is investigated in accordance with the relevant complaints’
- Ensure that lines of communication between you and the Child’s Social Worker are open and effective
- Maintain regular and effective communication with the Child’s Social Worker including:
- Notifying the Child’s Social Worker of any change in your circumstances
- Notifying the Child’s Social Worker of any further placements with you
- Notifying the Child’s Social Worker of any issues relating to the child arising during the Supervising Social Worker’s contact with you
- Provide you with assistance in dealing with other relevant services such as health and education
- Respond promptly to telephone calls and correspondence from you
- Visit and otherwise maintain contact with you in accordance with the time frame outlined below
- Ensure that the specific support needs of your own children are monitored on a regular basis both during supervisory visits and specifically at the time of the review of your registration as a parent, when the views of your own children will be sought and considered
Supervising Social Workers share with the Child’s Social Worker the responsibility of safeguarding the child and should also be aware of the duty to respond to the needs of the child or parent, especially where they have concerns about the child’s safety or well-being. Your Supervising Social Worker is also expected to know about the Child’s Care Plan. Nurture Fostering’s Supervising Social Worker, also support the foster parents to play an active role in agreeing the contents of each child’s placement plan in conjunction with the Child’s Social Worker.
In summary, Supervising Social Workers are responsible for supervising and supporting you in respect of your general role as a parent rather than in respect of specific placements.
Nurture Fostering believes that support groups can make a valuable contribution to the range of support services available for parents. The Nurture Foster Care Association (NFCA) currently runs support groups for all registered foster parents. It is an expectation that foster parents should attend these groups so as to share experiences, and also as another source of support