I've some queries regarding the British (English, specifically) Social Services, and child protection in particular.
My character is a single young (SHO on the emergency ward) male physician, who wants to foster a six year old child. Of course his job means he gets to work long hours at inconvenient times, so how much would you give for his chances of becoming a foster parent?
I understand that it takes between six and nine months to qualify as a foster carer in the UK, so have been looking for alternative procedures, since they don't have that much time (there seems to be a shortage of foster carers though; does anyone know how long this has been the situation in the UK?) As far as my research goes, it seems that the county court can issue a Care Order settling parental responsibility with the county, and once that is done issue a Residence Order concerning where the kid is going to stay.
The tricky thing is that I have no idea whether the procedure was like this before the 1989 Children Act.