New Form K (kinship assessment) in the pipeline
CoramBAAF’s existing Form C (Connected Person – Family and Friends England) is a comprehensive form used to assess both prospective kinship foster carers and special guardians.
We are delighted that work on the new Form K (kinship assessment) which will replace the existing Form C is well underway. We have consulted with members via our practice forums, working party meetings and a survey. Whilst some members find the current layout and design easy to use, others find it lengthy and repetitive.
As well as consulting with members, we’ve also met with a focus group of kinship carers to discuss some of the underlying principles behind planned changes, with further groups planned for later in the year. We know that many kinship carers experience being assessed as an intrusive and bewildering experience.
The new Form K will guide the assessing social worker through a strengths-based, culturally sensitive and trauma-informed assessment that focuses on family as a system and recognises the importance of relationship-based social work. The analysis of strengths and vulnerabilities will inform the development of a clear support plan that considers the current and likely future needs of both the child and their carer.
Form K will evidence the needs and amplify the voice of the child. It will show how these needs will be met by their kinship carer and how support will mitigate any vulnerabilities. It will also enable the social worker to articulate the meaning of the relationship between the child and their kinship carer, and consider how the changing needs of the family will be supported to adapt over time.
We hope the new Form K will be easily understood by those being assessed and by the children who may read it later in life, as well as making clear recommendations to enable decisions to be made.
We will also be ensuring the Form K is legally compliant with both fostering and special guardianship regulations and guidance, so it can continue to be used for both Panel and Court. We will also be consulting with other key stakeholders, including the judiciary, CAFCASS and the Department for Education.
Several local authorities will pilot Form K over the winter and then the new form will launch in spring/summer 2024. Comprehensive guidance will accompany the form and an updated Good Practice Guide will also be available. Sign up to our newsletters to keep up to date about the Assessment of Support Need and Support Plans forms also in development.
Ann Horne & Clare Seth, Kinship Care Consultants, CoramBAAF