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Salford Children's Services Procedures Manual Salford City Council website

4.1.11 Salford City Council Employees as Prospective Adopters or Carers


  1. Introduction
  2. Specific Child Assessments
  3. Wider Children's Services
  4. Friends and Relatives of Staff

1. Introduction

Salford has a duty to both the children for whom we have legal responsibility and the employees working within the wider Children's Service. The policy aims to help achieve a balance between maximising placement choice for our Looked After Children whilst safeguarding the individual workers. The Fostering and Adoption Regulations set out clear guidelines about employees who wish to act as prospective adopters or foster carers for the agency with whom they are employed.

It is crucial that any assessment or approval of prospective carers stands up to scrutiny and is transparent from a parental, judicial, CAFCASS and departmental perspective.

Children and young people also need to feel confident that they can make a complaint about their care and not feel compromised about doing so.

One of the main potential conflicts of interest arise when an employee is:

  • Involved in placement of children;
  • Has responsibility for;
  • Monitors;
  • Or has direct access to information in relation to the placement of children.

Children's Services incorporates a wide group of staff where a conflict of interests may still exist but to a lesser degree than with those actively working in the placement of children. It is important that employees who foster or adopt are made aware at the earliest opportunity of any issues that may impact on their employment.

Employees who should be excluded from making an application to foster or adopt for Salford are:

  • Staff working within the Fostering and Adoption Service;
  • Staff working within other teams based within the wider Looked after Children service;
  • Staff working in other social work teams or related teams within the Directorate;
  • Staff working in the Child Protection, Quality Assurance and Independent Review unit.

2. Specific Child Assessments

Where an application is made to be assessed as a prospective carer or adopter for a specific child or children (e.g. a relative), the Family Placement Team will commission an independent assessment from another suitable agency. The commissioned agency will be requested to complete the full assessment and approval process, including consideration by the agency panel.

3. Wider Children's Services

Other staff working in the wider Children's Services need to be made aware of any potential issues that may arise as a result of their application to the Directorate. These include:

  • Aspects of confidentiality with regard to sharing of their personal information;
  • Areas of disagreement with other professionals;
  • Accessing support from services where a professional relationship exists in the workplace e.g. CAMHS;
  • The impact on their employment of issues that may arise in their role as foster carers or adoptive parents and vice versa. This will also be the case should they be working in a related profession in another local authority;
  • Careful consideration will need to be given to any staff who foster or adopt and who have access to the care first system to ensure the confidentiality is not compromised and they understand the consequences of abusing their access to system to gain either access to their own information or that of children they may care for.

Applications made by the following staff will be undertaken by an experienced Family Placement social worker:

  • Residential Staff;
  • Teaching Staff;
  • Administration Teams based in central services;
  • Locality Teams.

4. Friends and Relatives of Staff

If a friend or relative of a staff member wants to apply to foster or adopt, they should be made aware that their relationship and any potential conflicts of interest will need to be considered in the assessment.