Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Fostering 'C' ..... 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 from The Fostering Network

Car Seats -Recent changes in car legislation means that as a foster carer you need to know the most up to date information to ensure the safety of any children being transported in a vehicle. Considerations include the age and size of a child, the stage of the car seat, correct fitting, and air bags.
Care Order - An order made by the courts to ensure the safety of a child and allows the ability for social services to place a child with a foster carer. There are several different types including children being 'accommodated' with parental consent, having a Emergency Protection Order, Special Guardianship Order. As a foster carer it is useful to know as it gives you a guide to history and time lines, but in relation to how you care for the child it makes little difference.
Care Plan - Within days of a new placement a meeting takes place to organise a care plan for the child. This will usually take place in the local social services offices and will include the child's parents, social workers for the child and for the foster carer. The plan covers all aspects of the child's life including health, education and contact.
Challenging Behaviour - Looked after children can exhibit challenging behaviour. It is important for a foster carer to behave consistently, maintain boundaries, and understand the needs of the individual child. They should always remember to refer to the behaviour being unacceptable, not the child. S/he should always feel able to speak to their Supervising Social Worker if they feel they need suggestions for strategies, support or help.
Change in Circumstances - If there is a change, e.g. a new partner moves into the home, a relationship breaks down, or a new baby arrives, then the foster carer needs to inform their Supervising Social Worker.
Changing a Child's Name - Foster carers are not allowed to change a child's forename or surname. Occasionally there may be circumstances when the child needs to be protected, but this is on individual situations and would be dealt with by the Supervising Social Worker.
Complaints - Unfortunately complaints are almost accepted as part of the role. When I did my training I remember being told you're not a foster carer until you've had a complaint - well, after the last year I would say we should have huge, big, shiny gold medals by now! It's not possible to prevent a complaint, they can come from the child, parent, other foster carers, the children's social worker, or any number of other parties. What you can do is write everything down, doesn't matter how small, you never know when it'll be needed. And speak to your SSW, let them know what's happening. As the person conducting our annual review said, everything that had happened in the last year had been found false, and that has a lot to do with the fact that I like to write and talk, so anything that came up I could refer to my log sheets, or previous conversations with our SSW.
Confidentiality - In a nutshell, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. As a foster carer you will learn very private information about children and families and that information is not yours to share, no matter who asks.
Contact - There will be plans for your placements to have contact with their birth family and/or significant influences in their lives. As a foster carer it is usually your responsibility to get the children to contact, but it is not your role to act as a supervisor during these meetings. They can be as infrequently as once every few months, to as regularly as 3 times a week.
Contract - When you first become a foster carer you and social services agree on certain standards to be met.
Corporal Punishment - Is quite simply illegal. The only time where you may need to physically restrain a child is if they are in serious danger of injuring themselves or someone else, e.g. about to run into the road. Then it is essential you record everything in the log sheet, and let your SSW know as soon as possible.


  1. Lots of info here... my grandson is now 4, and I borrowed a car seat from a friend... it's a bolster seat with a back, and now I need to figure out how to use it!

  2. That's a lot of hard work!


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