Foster carers must keep daily records of activities linked to foster children. But what events are absolute essentials to note down?
Read our top ten guide to reporting and recording for foster carers.
Incidents - these are generally summarised as an event that is slightly unusual in some way, for example when a foster child refuses to go to school, refuses to eat, or is aggressive or demonstrates non-compliant behaviour or goes straight to their room if they wouldn’t do so normally.
Accidents - if a foster child has hurt themselves at school, at home, or at another setting, the foster carer should record the accident and any treatment given as soon as possible. In some cases it would also be totally wise to contact the foster agency immediately after by telephone too.
Health appointments – Visits to the doctors, opticians, dentists or any other treatment or therapy sessions should also be noted in the daily log. This would also include any CAMHS (child adolescent mental health services) appointments.
Serious incidents – serious incidents can be an escalation of a regular incident or a new occurrence like an assault on or by the foster child, self-harm, criminal damage, truanting or absconding. All these incidents and anything like them must be reported as well as logged.
Hospitalisation - any planned or emergency admission into hospital for any length of time must be logged. As well as logging please also call the foster agency for further advice.
Education issues - refusing to go to school, absconding from school (or truanting), issues within school e.g. bullying, educational needs, and planned and spontaneous school visits should be annotated in the log.
Local Authority meetings – Looked after children will often have details about their care discussed in a LAC or looked-after child review. This might include details such as whether the child can travel, if foster carers have permission to cut hair, rules of the house and what can and can’t be done throughout the placement.
Behaviour management - any behaviour management plans need to be updated and logged in to Charms.
Disclosures - if a foster child discloses any previous abusive behaviour that they have been subjected to this should also be recorded. Anchor Foster Care provides further guidance around this in our child protection training.
Allegations – if a child alleges that a foster carer has abused them physically or otherwise, you will be expected to make a note of this also. In this instance an immediate phone call to the agency would be necessary. Please also see our guidance on 'fostering and allegations' here, too.
In addition to the above, logs can also be used to record daily activities, keep track of meals, extracurricular activities and sports and clubs attendance.
Logs are a vital part of the foster carer role - we hope our blog has made you undertsand the role and responsibilities a little better.