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Reasons a child is removed from the home

Family Fostering Partners' network of foster parents dedicates their lives to giving vulnerable young people the very best start in life. Through their love, support, nurture and encouragement, children and young people (under 18-years-old) learn to adjust, cope, trust and build confidence in themselves and their surroundings once more.

A long-term placement with a foster family is usually several weeks after care proceedings have begun. Therefore, for a foster care placement to be successful, it is vitally important to identify and acknowledge the difficulties and trauma a young person might have lived through already before being welcomed into their foster family.

What circumstances lead to a child being removed from the family home?

The Children Act 1989 (England and Wales), Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 all govern the safeguarding and welfare of young people under 18-years-old.

Under this governance, the care system works broadly the same way across the home nations.

Once an issue of welfare or safeguarding of a child has been reported and it is thought they are at risk of significant harm, being harmed or being beyond parental control, the Local Authority can initiate care proceedings. This process is designed to ascertain the best course of action to protect the child and secure their ongoing health and development.

As care proceedings progress, the live situation may deteriorate; in these circumstances, interim care orders and emergency protection orders can be used to ensure the child’s ongoing safety.

In cases of mental or physical illness, or a sudden change in circumstances, parents may voluntarily put their children into care. These arrangements are temporary but still legally binding, although the courts do not govern them.

It is essential to recognise that removing a child from their family home is always the last resort of social services. Often, it is as upsetting a process for the child as it is for the parents and wider birth family.

Main reasons for removing a child from their birth family home

The most common reasons for removing a child are:

Neglect

This can be best described as the persistent failure to meet the child's basic physical and psychological needs. As well as a lack of food, water and shelter, neglect might also be medical, emotional or educational.

Abandonment

Leaving the child to fend for themselves for excessive durations or leaving the child permanently.

Abuse

Domestic abuse can take many forms, including physical (violence and bullying behaviour) and emotional or sexual abuse. In some cases, it can be a combination of these, or it might be that the child repeatedly witnessing abuse in the family home is deemed to put them at risk of harm.

Loss of parent(s)

The sudden loss of the parents due to serious illness or death can result in a child being taken into care until alternative arrangements, e.g. kinship care, can be made.

Incarceration

In much the same way as the sudden loss of parents to illness or death, a child can be taken into care if the parents go to prison.

Family first

Family Fostering Partners understand that family comes first, and all children have the right to love and be loved.

Our focus is on attachment - building that strong bond between the child and the primary caregiver. Sometimes, having being placed in the care system, this attachment is arrived at later in life. However it is achieved, our foster parents put attachment at the heart of everything they do for the vulnerable young people in their care.

If you think you're ready to join our network of foster parents, you can read more about us here or click one of the links below.

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