Delegated authority is the term used when the responsibility for making day to day decisions about a child has been passed to the foster carer. This can include decisions around activities, hair cuts and overnight stays amongst other things. There is a general agreement that it is extremely important to improve practice around delegated authority in order to help young people to achieve and thrive in foster care.
Funded by the Department for Education, and after talking to young people, foster carers, parents, social workers and IROs, the Fostering Network has produced a range of materials to help support important changes in practice around delegated authority.
Tools and resources
The following tools and resources can be downloaded from our resource centre.
- Handbook for social workers, supervising social workers and foster carers (contains the decision support tool, FAQs and information sheet listed below)
- Decision support tool
- Parental responsibility and delegated authority FAQs
- Information sheet for parents
A comprehensive suite of training materials has been produced to enable foster carers, childcare social workers and supervising social workers to work together and share their perspectives on the issues around delegated authority.
Download the training materials from our resource centre.
More about delegated authority
The revised statutory framework for fostering and care planning, which came into force in April 2011, and the Foster Carers' Charter, outline the importance placed by the Government on foster carers being able to take a greater range of decisions about day to day aspects of the lives of the of the young people they care for.
Children and young people say that this is important to them as the current arrangements make them feel different from other children and also that trips and other opportunities are sometimes missed due to delays in getting the necessary consents from managers of children’s services.