Approved foster carer
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This is someone who has been assessed and approved as suitable to look after a child. They can be approved by a fostering service in children’s services. Or they may work with an independent fostering agency.
An approved foster carer might be approved generally to look after any child in care. Or they may only be approved to care for a specific child. For example, family members or friends can be assessed as a carer for a child in their family. In this situation, a kinship carer is only approved to look after that specific child.
If the child needs to be placed with a kinship carer straight away and there is not time for a full assessment, then the relative can be temporarily approved. This is done under Regulation 24 of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010. In such a situation, the social worker will need to carry out some immediate checks. The kinship carer will still need to undergo a full fostering assessment if the child is to remain with them long-term.