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You may recognise some of the following words and phrases used when people talk about fostering. We thought it would be helpful to explain their meaning. If you’re still unsure or feel that anything is unclear, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The emotional bond to another person.  How a child is attached to his or her caregivers, usually birth parents, can have a major influence both during childhood and later in life.  At swiis we provide our carers with attachment training to help support children in placement. 

Care Inspectorate
The independent scrutiny and improvement body for care and children’s services.  They play a significant role in improving services for adults and children across Scotland by regulating and inspecting care services

Care plan
A plan written by the local authority social worker that sets out how a child’s will be cared for example, where they will live, who will look after them and when and how often they might have family contact.

Child Allowance (maintenance)
The financial payment made to foster carers for the day to day living expenses for a child in placement, such as clothing and toiletries. This payment is made weekly.

Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC)
A national program and approach that focuses on improving outcomes for all children in Scotland. 

Independent Fostering Agencies (IFA)
IFA’s work in partnership with local authorities to provide placements for looked after children and young people.

Local Authorities (LA)
local authorities are the legal guardians of any looked after children and young people.

Looked after children and young people
Is the term used to describe children that Local Authorities are guardians of.

The impact of activities and interventions to support a child’s development. At swiis we measure outcomes using the SHANARRI framework.

Refers to where a young person resides if they have been looked after and accommodated away from home.  For example foster care or a residential school.

Respite placement
Respite involves children living with foster carers having short stays with another foster family to give their family/main carers a break. Length of respite can vary from a a day or two to a week or two.

provides the framework for GIRFEC.  Each child in Scotland has the right to be Safe, Healthy, Active, Nurtured, Achieving, Responsible, Respected and Included.  These eight areas are recognized as being areas children need in order to do well.


– British Association for Adoption and Fostering

CAMHS – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

GIRFEC – Getting It Right For Every Child

IPA – Individual Placement Agreement

SSSC - Scottish Social Services Council

TFN – The Fostering Network

UNCRC – United Nations Convention of the Rights of a Child

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