Looking after a Foster Child

Guidance for foster carers.

Foster Carer Responsibilities

Foster carers are responsible for, and play an important role in the wellbeing and development of the children and young people placed with them.  When thinking of the general wellbeing and development of children and young people it is important to remember all aspects including physical, social, educational, emotional, spiritual and psychological. 

Of course, foster carers must also look after their own health; if foster carers (or another member of the foster care household) suffer serious physical or mental health problems, they will be less able to manage the foster care task.  Foster carers have a responsibility therefore to let their supervising social worker know of any such problems as soon as possible.  If foster carers or their immediate family have or develop health problems, which could affect the care of children and young people placed, update medical checks and reassessment may be necessary. 


General health (including oral and eye care)

All children and young people who are placed with foster carers must be registered with a GP and Dentist.  Where there is a need, children and young people should also be registered with an optician.  In order to provide continuity of care, and where this is possible and practical, the child should retain the same GP, Dentist and Optician with whom they were registered while living with their parents / birth family.  The decision about any change of GP should take into account the needs of the child, accessibility and the birth parents’ views.

Please refer to handbook for more details about this subject.

Drug Misuse

Foster carers should immediately notify the child’s social worker if they suspect a child or young person is misusing any drug.

Diet and Exercise

Foster carers have a responsibility to help children and young people placed with them to enjoy and appreciate a balanced diet and a range of regular exercise, and to practice good hygiene.  If children and young people have special dietary needs, or allergies (such as a nut allergy), or cannot take part in specific activities, this should be clearly stated in their Child’s Plan. 

Further information

Further information is available in the handbook on subject matters such as:

  • Safety
  • Promoting Health & Safety
  • Hygiene
  • Sexual health
  • Working with parents and others to safeguard children and young people
  • Education
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