Children and young people who are removed from their family, even those who have been maltreated, experience separation and loss. Research has found that these feelings can be exacerbated when they experience multiple placements (Schofield and Beek, 2005). Placement instability reduces a child’s opportunities to develop secure attachments and may also exacerbate any existing behavioural and emotional difficulties (Schofield and Beek, 2005). This in turn can make it more difficult for children to form relationships with carers and contributing to further placement breakdown and rejection (Munro and Hardy, 2006).
According to the Department for Education (DfE 2013) 11% of looked after children had three or more placements during the year ending 31 March 2013. Young people aged between 13 and 16 were those most likely to have three or more placements. Children who experience multiple placement moves have poorer outcomes than those who do not in terms of psychological, social and academic outcomes.
Foster carers need to understand what is meant by permanence and long term care and appreciate why achieving this for children and young people is of critical importance for children and young people’s outcomes. Carers need to appreciate the different ways that children and young people can achieve permanence and long term care, foster care being one of these. Foster carers providing permanence / long care need to have the skills and abilities to meet the needs of such children and those providing short term care need to have the skills to support children and young people into permanence wherever possible
Who is Professional Authority aimed at?
By the end of the training day, delegates will:
- Understand what is meant by permanence and long term care
- Understand the importance of permanence and long term care for children and young people (including the impact of instability)
- Understand the different ways that children and young people can achieve permanence and long term care and the legal basis for such decisions
- Understand the decision making process (by Social Workers and the courts) with regards to care planning for children and young people
- The use of professional authority and professional relationships
- Understand their role and responsibility in providing permanence or long term care (as appropriate)
- Understand their role to support children into permanence or long term care (as appropriate)
- Appreciate the importance of matching, planning, support and reflection in achieving positive permanence / long term care arrangements