Sheffield foster mum hid criminal conviction

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A foster mum in Sheffield was deregistered after failing to declare she had a criminal conviction, it has been revealed.

Reports that went before city councillors yesterday showed two foster carer were deregistered last year because of ‘serious concerns’ reported to the authority’s fostering and adoption team.

In the first case a foster carer had failed to disclose a conviction for a criminal offence.

The council said she had been deregistered and was no longer a foster carer.

It would not confirm the type of offence that she had committed and failed to declaire but said that it was ‘not directly linked to child protection concerns.’

In the second case another foster mum withdrew from fostering because of a ‘placement breakdown’, the council said.

She was subsequently deregistered by the council’s fostering panel and is no longer in the role.

A council spokesman said: “It’s important to note that the reported issues of concern are very small numbers compared to how many carers we have.

“The fostering service is in the process of revising the allegation and significant concern process and where there is an allegation or concern this is investigated by the fostering service.

“This is reported to and is scrutinised by the designated officer who will determine what actions are required, whether there is evidence for a criminal investigation, or whether a foster carer is suspended, and an investigation process undertaken.

“Where there is an allegation in relation to a child, a joint assessment with the social work team would determine whether a child should be immediately removed from the care of the foster carer.”

Reports to the children, young people and family support scrutiny and policy development committee also show that 41 foster carers in total decided to withdraw from their roles or were deregistered during 2013-14.

In most cases it was because of personal circumstances or work commitments.

Others quit because of their health, retirement, or because they had adopted children and no longer wanted to foster.

One foster carer also left because they were unhappy with the support services provided to them by the council and in some cases the reason was not known.

There are currently 280 approved carers provided by the fostering service for people aged under 18 who need a temporary home - and once children reach the age of 18 they can remain in such placements.

The number of foster carers has increased steadily since 2009, when there were 223 approved carers. It is expected that at the end of this year there will be another 35 new carers.

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