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February 15, 2018

Fostering: Vicarious Liability and Failure to Train

Foster Carers and Conflict Training

Since the supreme court judgement on Armes v Nottinghamshire County Council, it is now clear that Local Authorities have vicarious liability for the actions of foster parents. 

Despite persistently poor advice from many supervising social workers on this point, foster carers ARE given powers to use force under law and those who look after children with a history or risk of violent behaviour are sometimes put in positions of grave risk which necessitate a use of force to keep themselves or others safe.

However, without training in the legal principles of reasonable force, duty of care/decision-making in managing violent incidents and particularly the avoidance of high-risk restraint interventions (what NOT to do if physically intervening with a person), we consider that many local authorities are running services where their liability for the unknowing actions of foster carers who are working with violent children is significant.

Watch the Supreme Court judgement on Vicarious Liability of local authorities for the actions of foster carers here: https://www.supremecourt.uk/watch/uksc-2016-0004/judgment.html

To read a press summary of the judgement:  Armes (Appellant) v Nottinghamshire County Council (Respondent) [2017] UKSC 60 On appeal from [2015] EWCA Civ 1139:  https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2016-0004-press-summary.pdf

Dynamis Training for Foster Carers in Conflict and Interventions Click Here

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Gerard O'Dea is the Director of Training for Dynamis. Training Advisor, Speaker, Author and Expert Witness on Personal Safety, Conflict Management and Physical Interventions, he is the European Advisor for Vistelar Conflict Management, a global programme focussing on the spectrum of human conflict.

Gerard O'Dea

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