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Improving our core forms: what's new and what's next

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We have been working towards updating our key forms for professionals, such as Foster Carers Assessment (Form F), Child Permanence Report (CPR Form), Kinship Assessment Form (Form K, formerly Form C – Connected Persons), and various Child Health Forms. Here's a brief overview of our recent developments and future plans. 

Kinship Assessment Form 

The change in name to Form K reflects the national policy reform agenda and a growing awareness of the complexity and far-reaching nature of kinship care. The new assessment form will focus on the relationship between the kinship carer and the child, drawing out strengths and highlighting support needs. The form will be more concise and proportionate but enable robust analysis. 

The form can be used for both approval of kinship foster carers and recommendations for special guardianship orders, therefore it will be compliant with the Special Guardianship Order schedule and fostering regulations. It will include a support plan of assessed need, as well as accompanying detailed guidance. 

It can also be used for assessment of prospective carers overseas, with a specific set of questions designed to explore the unique issues when working with carers living overseas.   

We have consulted with kinship carers, practitioners, researchers and other stakeholders, to inform the design of the form. We are currently consulting with parents with children living in kinship arrangements, and kinship care experienced young people and adults. 

The form will be piloted between February and May 2024.  We hope to publish the form in the summer following feedback from the pilot and further consultation with the judiciary and CAFCASS. 

We will continue to share regular updates on the project's progress at our Kinship Care Practice Forum, sign up today

Child Permanence Report 

This form has multiple uses including acting as a source of information for decision making, a court report, a matching tool and ultimately a source of information for an adopted person in the future. There are several changes being made to this form, most of which are subtle but there is a definite shift in the ‘tone’ of the form to emphasise the ‘voice of the child’ and prevent ‘generic’ forms. 

The person completing the form will have to know the child and have spent time with them in order to complete it. There is greater emphasis on social workers acknowledging and considering the important people to a child, how these people can remain part of the child’s life and a shift to an expectation of more face-to-face contact where appropriate. There will be a section for sibling assessment and why plans are made for each of them separately or together. 

We are awaiting the outcome of the Public Law Working Group consultation and its potential implications before we finalise the updated Child Permanence Report. Piloting of the updated version will hopefully take place as planned, this spring, with a view to publication in autumn this year. 

Foster Carers Assessment 

This form is for the assessment of prospective foster carers. Our intention is to make the form more accessible, to reduce repetition and to be strengths-based. There is also greater emphasis on what a child will need from their foster carer, and this part of the assessment will help the assessing social worker to explore with the prospective foster carer(s) how they may be able to meet those needs.  

We will be looking to pilot the form in local authorities and independent fostering agencies in the early part of 2024, with a full rollout in the autumn.