Sunday, April 01, 2018

Fostering 'A' ..... A - Z Blog Challenge



As Jeff and I have been foster carers for 3 years this month it seemed the right time to have Fostering as a topic for the A-Z. We're still new enough that we're not jaded yet, but have had a pretty bumpy ride, so fairly realistic in what fostering is really about.

Further information at The Fostering Network



A IS FOR:
Abuse - Some children, not all, have suffered some form of abuse which is why they have become a 'Looked After Child'. As a foster carer it is important to consider any information given to be able to make an informed decision, so that the placement is right for both you and the child.
Accidents - It is essential that foster carers keep written records of any accidents, and the child's social worker should be informed as soon as possible.
Access - Is the plans for meeting with birth parents and other significant individuals. The foster carer needs to transport the child to access but is not responsible for supervising the access.
Adoption - Sometimes a child will move onto adoption and the foster carer will be involved in the introductions and transitions.
Advocate - Any child in care is entitled to an advocate. This person can help a child/young person (CYP) voice his feelings in any subject matter - for example, his carers, contact, education. They can represent the CYP in meetings, especially if the CYP does not want to attend meetings where he is the main subject. Advocates are especially useful in this instance with teens who do not want to be part of the system. A useful point is that an advocate is totally independent, they have no affiliation to the birth family, social services or the courts, they are there for the CYP. Some children do not want an advocate, but it is good to know that they can have one if they need.
Aftercare - Moving on. Sometimes it will be that a placement is coming to an end as a child is reaching adulthood. But you may also have a placement which is to help a child develop independence before he moves into assisted living.
Allegations - At any point a child, or any significant person involved in the child's life, can make an allegation about you. It could be small, or a major accusation. his is quite raw for me at the moment. One of our ex-fosterlings made a statement we didn't know about. We also didn't know the police were involved. We didn't know the LADO was involved. The first we knew was when we received a telephone call saying that the ATM needed to talk to us and would be round in 10 minutes. Long story short it was decided it was a false allegation and we will receive that in writing in due time. Jeff took it in his stride. As soon as he heard what the social workers had to say he wasn't worried as he knew it was unfounded. He was right of course, but I am also a child care professional and if the decision had been unsubstantiated rather than false it would have undoubtedly impacted on the career I have been involved with in my 35 years of working. And I'm not even going to start on all the small concerns.
Allowances - A weekly payment is made, and is broken down into how it should be used.
Annual Review - Every year foster carers have to go through a review process. What went well. What was learned. Could anything have been done differently. Can the registration stay the same.
Assessment and Approval - We had been through a similar process when we adopted Ella so it didn't come as a surprise but it is intensive and very invasive. It's important for everyone concerned to make sure that any prospective foster carers is suitable and suitably prepared.

12 comments:

  1. Hi Suzanne - having been reading about your journey - I have huge admiration for you both ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary, sometimes it's a bit raw, so it's a while before I post anything x

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  2. I'm glad the allegations were speedily proved to be false.

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    1. Me too Kristin! It was not a nice experience but we were relieved it was false, not unsubstantiated x

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  3. You and your husband have big hearts. Best wishes to you both and your children.

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  4. Fostering children needs a big heart, a sense of humour and a lot of patience. Sounds like you have it in spades. Great topic.

    Returning your A-Z visit =)

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    1. Most days we have it, some days it gets used up pretty quickly :)

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  5. You guys work so hard for your kids and they are all lucky to come through your care. That sucks about false allegations being made. I'm so glad justice prevailed.

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    1. Thanks JoJo, not going to pretend it's not easy, but it is worthwhile xx

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  6. What an important topic! I work with children in foster care as a storyteller. There is a lot to talk about. Thank you for bringing this to A to Z!
    The Multicolored Diary: Weird Things in Hungarian Folktales

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    1. What a lovely role - they are lucky children, having a story read is always such a good experience for them x

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Love to hear from you. Please leave your thoughts below. Suzanne xx