Home > Parent's Rights > What Are The Rights of Foster Parents?

What Are The Rights of Foster Parents?

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 8 Nov 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Foster Care Foster Foster Parents

Fostering is when a child who is unable to stay with his or her own parents is placed in the care, short-term or long-term, with another family. Although they are responsible for the day-to-day care of a child, a foster parent does not have the same rights as the biological parents of a child.

As a foster parent is only a temporary guardian, they do not have any rights as to the child’s wellbeing unless they adopt the child. In the eyes of the law, the responsibility for the wellbeing of a child in care falls squarely at the feet of the Local Authority. Before the child is placed under the care of a foster parents, the Local Authority will explain what rights and authority they have when it comes to the child's care.

Day-to-Day Care

A foster parent is responsible for the day-to-day care of a child in their care but only within the confines of their own home. They cannot take the children away from their local area without prior permission, and cannot instigate any kind of activity which might be perceived by the Local Authority as not in their best interests.

Can The Local Authority Make Decisions About A Child’s Education?

Yes, they can but only if there are sufficient grounds to do so, or if there is a danger that the child may come to some harm staying at their current school. A Local Authority may be able to re-school the child if they can establish beyond any reasonable doubt that they will be at the same or greater level of risk as before.

It should be made clear at this point, however, that the foster parents have no control or overall say as to whether this is the case or not, and must abide by the wishes of the Local Authority. However, they can comment if they feel the child would benefit from such a move but the Local Authority does have the final say.

What Happens If The Child is Involved In an Accident?

If the child is involved in an accident, the foster parent would be contacted as the child’s Temporary Guardian. However, they cannot make decisions as to the nature of any medical treatment that may be required by the child, and again this falls to the Local Authority to make a decision in the absence of a parent.

If there has been previous provision made for medical treatment in the event of a particular set of circumstances, the Local Authority must apply to the courts for an injunction to stop this medical treatment going ahead if they feel it is not in the child’s best interests.

For more information on fostering and how foster parents are required to care for children in their charge, you should contact your Local Authority.

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I have 8 year son who was put into care simce he was 3 years old. He will be staying in full time care until 21 years old or 18 years old. I think. They are planning to work with me in regards to my son needs and care but what responsibility right do i have as main parent when it comes to face to face contact and also would i be able to request in future shared responsibility with the local authorities and foster parents on making decisions for my son? I struggle to understand how it all works and where we all fit into place like puzzles in a box? Please help me understand the input - output of the system.
Mayjan1119 - 8-Nov-19 @ 10:54 PM
Hi I have asked for photos of my 2 boys in foster care but the foster parents are not willing to share any photos at this moment in time what does this mean please help
Laracroft1977 - 10-Sep-19 @ 7:19 PM
I have had my two children on a permancy order I was told by the courts that I was allowed to write letters cards etc to my elder daughter who is 17 years old now I have waited 12 years to c my daughters my youngest daughter has just turned 13yearsthe foster cares have sent me the cards letters back ive had enough of this now if done this for 12 years with the social work department they have never even helped me with rehabilitation with my kids they send me paper copy of my daughters and they were told to send me photos but they never have they r going against the court order I am now getting to the stage that me and my lawyer are going take them back to court can you give me some advice or help thank you
Angels2 - 22-Aug-19 @ 7:29 PM
Hi My doctor has signed me off sick for 4wks for stress, does my agency have to help get someone else look after my foster child while I'm on the sick. I live in the uk
Cup1927 - 22-Jul-19 @ 5:41 PM
What happens to children when FCS quit. Does the matter how back to court or they are just moved to another place? 5 year old has had 3 placements boy if 12 has had 2. Can we apply to court as plan was ltfc and then ago but has never happened in nearly 3 years.
Winnie - 30-Mar-19 @ 3:29 AM
If my kids have been fostered, can I have any legal right to visit or atleast have some contact with them? If so how would I go about doing this. Thank yoj
Leigha - 9-Feb-19 @ 8:55 PM
The council gave out my address to a child's parent in my care without my permission or any warning. The child's parent turned up to my door because my information was given out as child was placed under a section 20. What are my rights as a foster carer as I have my own young children living at home. And this had put me and my family at great risk due to parents violent history.
Gt - 4-Sep-18 @ 6:43 PM
I have a young child in our foster care . Her SGO isdemanding she has our address . We have asked for it to be with held .the local authorities say we must give them our address. Is this true
Nickyjh01 - 31-Aug-18 @ 1:26 AM
We are currently in the process of adopting a child, the child in question has now been with us for 2 months however we are still classified as foster carers until everything has been formalised in the courts. Which in theory could take years. Are we entitled to any support? For exampleFoster carers allowance until the adoption is legal? Our local authority has said no but I’m not convinced this is right? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks
Hector - 28-Aug-18 @ 8:07 PM
D Crox - Your Question:
Hi,I am a Foster Parent, with an agency not Local Authority and I am 15 weeks pregnant. My employer is fully aware of my pregnancy. I am currently going though a placement breakdown, current placement does not want to return to placement after being on respite. Before this she was happy and supported and I was able to do my job. My question is; would my agency employer be allowed to deny me any further placements because I am pregnant? If so, isn’t this a form of discrimination? Thank you.

Our Response:
This would probably depend on specific caring requirements, e.g if there is a policy not to place children where there are already children, it may be feasible. Talk to Citizens' Advice for specific help relating to your own situation.
LawAndParents - 31-Jul-18 @ 12:03 PM
Hi, I am a Foster Parent, with an agency not Local Authority and I am 15 weeks pregnant. My employer is fully aware of my pregnancy. I am currently going though a placement breakdown, current placement does not want to return to placement after being on respite. Before this she was happy and supported and I was able to do my job. My question is; would my agency employer be allowed to deny me any further placements because I am pregnant? If so, isn’t this a form of discrimination? Thank you.
D Crox - 30-Jul-18 @ 11:44 AM
Hiya my sons been taken off me at 7 days old. He is now currently being fostered and I was wondering can she bond with my son?
Jadeen - 18-Jun-18 @ 3:45 PM
I fostered a baby from 2 days old. He was returned to his grandparents at 3yrs old. Theyhave been given permanence order and parental rights. We hoped for a last visit to let him know we had not disappeared, to help him heal and try to make sense of where he is. The grandparents have refused as they don't want him to remember his past. We only want one visit mostly for his sake. Do we have any legal right does he have any legal right.
SUZ - 23-May-18 @ 10:20 AM
Hi, what happens when a foster child with disabilities turn adulthood and still remains with the foster patents but then dies due to illness. What rights do the foster parent have in the funeral arrangements and do the biological parents have a say? Thanks
M - 11-Mar-18 @ 9:56 PM
Sam-Lowe - Your Question:
Hi, I have been a friend and family foster carer for 14 mouths, the child has now moved to another placement. Do I legally have any rights to see her?

Our Response:
This really depends on the fostering agency/social workers. If they feel it's good for the child they have the power to assist it/allow it.
LawAndParents - 12-Dec-17 @ 2:50 PM
Hi, I have been a friend and family foster carer for 14 mouths, the child has now moved to another placement. Do I legally have any rights to see her?
Sam-Lowe - 11-Dec-17 @ 8:00 AM
I have been accused of not supporting a HPV vaccine for a 14 year old FC. I have never had any delegated authority and did not feel able to sign a parental consent form .However YP discussed the vaccine at school with friends and decided not to have the vaccine at this present time and await further investigations into the safety of the vaccine.I informed her SW and this has now led to a Standards of Care investigation against myself and removal of the YP and her sibling after 5 years in our care. Iwant to know if I am legally within my rights to state that I as a foster carer would not knowingly harm a child and can not be involved in such a decision.
Apple64 - 27-Nov-17 @ 12:14 PM
Nookie - Your Question:
I need to remain anonymous. I'm a foster parent for an agency herer in Macon, ga and I was docked $150.00 dollars for not attending a mandatory meeting. I later was allowed to make the class up but the money was never returned. I don't think it is fair because I have my biological kids in my home as well and that was the reason I could not make it. Is this legal or what?

Our Response:
Sorry but we can only really comment on UK based issues.
LawAndParents - 6-Nov-17 @ 2:00 PM
I need to remain anonymous. I'm a foster parent for an agency herer in Macon, ga and I was docked $150.00 dollars for not attending a mandatory meeting. I later was allowed to make the class up but the money was never returned. I don't think it is fair because I have my biological kids in my home as well and that was the reason I could not make it. Is this legal or what?
Nookie - 5-Nov-17 @ 9:08 AM
Mr - Your Question:
I have parental responsibility for my son, he lives with his mother. We are no longer together, she only lets me see him once every 2 weeks for a day and won't let him stay overnight, there is no reason for this as I have a perfectly suitable home. I'd like to see him more often but she won't allow it. What are my rights/options?

Our Response:
You should try mediation to come to some agreement whereby you can have you son stay. If this is unsuccessful you could try applying to the courts for a child arrangements order. Bear in mind a court will probably not grant overnight stays for a young baby.
LawAndParents - 27-Sep-17 @ 3:24 PM
I have parental responsibility for my son, he lives with his mother. We are no longer together, she only lets me see him once every 2 weeks for a day and won't let him stay overnight, there is no reason for this as I have a perfectly suitable home. I'd like to see him more often but she won't allow it. What are my rights/options?
Mr - 26-Sep-17 @ 11:40 AM
Rubykr - Your Question:
My 4 month baby is in foster care due to an accident in the bath, an social services had taken him away for further investigation - the first contact we had with our baby he was in a bad state such as:Foul smellInfection rash between legsRash on back neckFlakey skinDirty earsDirty neck an rashWe raised concerns to social worker they had ignored us an said we should be glad we are having contact Then we noticed at contact he was struggling breathing an not as active we suggessted he must have chest infection or virus we raised this with social workers they had questioned if we were medical professionals an disregarded our concerns we said we wanted to tale this further if he wasnt taken to GP they then took him the next day an we was right he had been suffering from a chest infection for a couple days3rd contact we had noticed the foster carer without our permission had shaved his forhead hair off with a blade an we raised this with social workers an they have ignored usWe feel as if he have no rights an the social are against us, we do not know what to do everytime we make complaints we are being ignored an no action is being takenWe have video an photo evidence of all these issues - they had sent us a letter stating we cannot make videos or photo of our baby no longer

Our Response:
It might be worth getting a different professional involved. If your concerns are well founded, someone needs to step in and make sure the child is cared for propertly. You could try the NSPCC or Family Lives
LawAndParents - 16-Mar-17 @ 10:38 AM
My 4 month baby is in foster care due to an accident in the bath, an social services had taken him away for further investigation - the first contact we had with our baby he was in a bad state such as: Foul smell Infection rash between legs Rash on back neck Flakey skin Dirty ears Dirty neck an rash We raised concerns to social worker they had ignored us an said we should be glad we are having contact Then we noticed at contact he was struggling breathing an not as active we suggessted he must have chest infection or virus we raised this with social workers they had questioned if we were medical professionals an disregarded our concerns we said we wanted to tale this further if he wasnt taken to GP they then took him the next day an we was right he had been suffering from a chest infection for a couple days 3rd contact we had noticed the foster carer without our permission had shaved his forhead hair off with a blade an we raised this with social workers an they have ignored us We feel as if he have no rights an the social are against us, we do not know what to do everytime we make complaints we are being ignored an no action is being taken We have video an photo evidence of all these issues - they had sent us a letter stating we cannot make videos or photo of our baby no longer
Rubykr - 14-Mar-17 @ 1:58 AM
None - Your Question:
Do foster carers have the same rights at work with regard to being treated the same as ordinary parents at work at eg school calls to say child is ill

Our Response:
Foster parents are not always entitled to unpaid leave to attend to a child's emergency. You will need to negotiate with your employer and provide evidence that you are the only person available for the child.
LawAndParents - 9-Nov-16 @ 2:48 PM
Do foster carers have the same rights at work with regard to being treated the same as ordinary parents at work at eg school calls to say child is ill
None - 9-Nov-16 @ 6:51 AM
Bimlass - Your Question:
I divorced my ex last June, he walked out the house to another woman in October 2013. He has only ever given me £300 in the 3 years towards support for the children. He was sporadic in his visits and having them. ALthough every time he did have them I had to deal with several issues from health to physiological issues which forced me to seek help for the girls - so both have had to have various sessions of counselling. So bottom line, ex doesn't see or contact the girls nor financially support them. He has not been interested in their welfare for years, I have to do everything on my own which I don't mind. What I want to know is has he defaulted and relinquished his parental responsibility ?and therefore can I stop him from having/seeing the girls- not that they want to see him. One is born before Dec 1 2003 the other after.

Our Response:
If you were married, your ex has parental responsibility for the children - this cannot be taken away simply because maintenance has not been paid. Have you ever sought a court order for maintenance? Or help from CSA/CMS in this?
LawAndParents - 28-Jun-16 @ 12:06 PM
I divorced my ex last June, he walked out the house to another woman in October 2013. He has only ever given me £300 in the 3years towards support for the children. He was sporadic in his visits and having them. ALthough every time he did have them I had to deal with several issues from health to physiological issues which forced me to seek help for the girls - so both have had to have various sessions of counselling. So bottom line, ex doesn't see or contact the girls nor financially support them. He has notbeen interested in their welfare for years, I have to do everything on my own which I don't mind. What I want to know is has he defaulted and relinquished his parental responsibility ?and therefore can I stop him from having/seeingthe girls- not that they want to see him. One is born before Dec 1 2003 the other after.
Bimlass - 26-Jun-16 @ 4:33 PM
my wife and i have raised our grandson from birth. He is 14 years old and is autistic.His main interest in life is lorries and will go anywhere to see them, subsequently he has absconded from our care on numerous occasions, and been brought back by the police.We are both in our 70,s but very healthy and well able to look after him. Recently we have had a shared care arrangement,ie, 5 days in foster care and 2 days with us, usually weekends.Unfortunately he absconded on his last visit and was out all night, spending the night in a lorry cab.The police finding him and he was put into full time foster care.He is not allowed home now and we can only have contact under supervision. He hates his foster placement and his health is suffering. He is not allowed his phone and cannot speak to us in private, the ones who have loved and cared for him in a very stable home.We are suffering terribly.
brickley - 9-Mar-16 @ 10:18 AM
hi,im a grandmother who has looked after my grandson 10 years now,he has special needs,im also a foster carer,to his brother,too my grandson is 11 now at the moment,is in resendical care ,I cant see him no contact the last 3 mths,onlt his mother ,who is not very well the hse have cut us off,i mean his aunts my other daughters and son,im very hurt by this as he ,my grandson suffers wit sever attachment disorder,and has tried to run away,any advice would be welcome,there is a interm care ouder on him thank you
doodle - 18-Apr-15 @ 2:36 AM
Hello people im going through a rough patch now an i just wants someone to explain my rights as a father. I recently split from my partner whos carrying my daughter. Anyways she doesnt want me at the birth threatening me with police an everything. An then she saids im not allowed my name on the birth certificate is their anything i can do as a father within my human rights to be treated as an eqaul?
mi-miyasdaddy2014 - 19-Dec-14 @ 8:57 PM
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