Fostering and Family Based Care (FFBC) guide for professionals

How will we do this?

BERRI logo

How will we do this?

  • With children and young people in our care

The Trust aspires for every child to have an understanding of their journey into care and their life story. The Trust expects that every child should know and understand what their care plan is (taking into account age and understanding). This model can only be successful if wherever possible we are working with, and not to our children. This includes the team around the child being open and honest about plans that are being made and work being undertaken.

“Children should feel that they are active participants and engaged in the process when adults are trying to solve problems and make decisions about them. When plans are being made for the child’s future…Close involvement will make it more likely that s/he feels some ownership of what is happening and it may help him/her understand the purpose of services or other support being provided to him/her.”

BERRI have been operating for the last 15 years and worked with numerous Local Authorities in the UK on similar projects. Every child who is part of the Fostering + Family Based Care project will have a needs assessment using the BERRI questionnaire, completed by the child’s social worker along with other key professionals such as the residential and education provider. This will then produce visual outputs and reports on the child’s needs from a psychological perspective in additional to advice and strategies to manage and support the child, organised around the following domains:

  • Behaviour
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Relationships
  • Risk
  • Indicators (of neurodevelopmental or psychiatric needs)

Each time the BERRI is completed, the BERRI team will have oversight, and where relevant set up a consultation with a BERRI psychologist afterwards to enable the Local Authority team to interpret the report and consider in more detail the support required to the child to address the identified needs. As the social work team implements the advice and support to the child, subsequent BERRI assessments should track the change in BERRI score and decrease in need. If there are incidents or apparent declines in the child’s stability or presentation the BERRI questionnaire and support assists the team around the child to analyse what the trigger might have been for this, so as to adjust support or care accordingly.

BERRI support and advice will also consist of care planning support, from a psychological perspective – is the plan of fostering or family based care viable for this child? what needs to happen for it to be viable? What kind of carers does this child need? What additional support might potential carers require to make fostering or family based care possible for this child? Knowing the child’s lived experiences, traumas, adversities and needs, how can any transition be best planned and implemented for the child?


The project seeks to work in partnership with, utilise and maximise existing Trust resources. The project aims to focus on developing close working relationships with all relevant partners and potential partners, particularly the Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) market and other organisations and Local Authorities who have innovated in this or a similar way.