Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Fostering Disruption Meeting

A Disruption Meeting is needed when foster carers give 28 days notice on their placement.

We have only done this twice. The first time was simple. The lad has been stealing from us by going into our bedroom - completely unacceptable, not only from a safeguarding point of view, but because it's the only room in the house foster children aren't allowed in, our own safe place - and looking through our things and taking money from Jeff's tin just crossed so many boundaries. Jeff couldn't move on from that. So there was no need for a Disruption Meeting, the reason was black and white.

The second time was far more complicated. In a nutshell we gave notice last August. When your dad says your husband looks ill and your daughter, with all her needs, wants to move out, well it's time to re-evaluate your placement. I won't go into specifics but suffice it to say that we've had Joe with ADHD and going off the rails. Everything with Ella. And I've been in childcare 30 years. But nothing prepared me for a set of siblings we were asked to care for. Anyhow long story short one of the siblings moved on in September 2016 and the other February 2017. We waited. And waited. Asked and waited some more. Eventually in June I wrote to someone in charge, and suddenly it's organised. Five months after the second child left and nine months after the first.

It was a relaxed meeting, but still with a Chair and someone taking notes. We voiced our unhappiness at the lack of support and it was agreed we were let down. In all honesty I don't know how much of a difference it will make going forward, but we know we wouldn't accept such challenging children again without a robust placement plan. It certainly wasn't a wasted meeting, a couple of good ideas came up that nobody, including us, had thought of at the time. We explained we were exhausted and the impact they had had on not just us but Ella and M, our other foster child. We felt we went from one crisis to another and spent most of our time putting out fires. That other foster carers were in awe that we persevered as long as we did.That even though most people knew we weren't exaggerating nothing changed.

But we're glad we had the meeting. We needed to let social services know how unhappy we were. It needed recording officially. The Chair did say they had learned a lot from our case, but apologised that it was at our expense. And everyone there unanimously said we had done an amazing job, even though we certainly didn't feel it at the time.

So that's a Disruption Meeting. Worth persuing and insisting on.


  1. Sounds like you were totally justified in requesting those meetings.


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