To think many people don't understand fostering

(110 Posts)
Thefishewife Thu 22-Sep-16 15:54:42

There have been a fair few threads about foster children being treated differently with family's to hard or to soft

Aibu to think people don't realise your not a law on to yourself and can't just do what you want some social workers and birth parents are fab and just let you get on meaning to can do as you see fit but some sw and birth parents are a nightmare wanting to control evey aspect of the child from a far even trying to tell you what they want you to feed the children

when your thinking about behavioural management as a foster carer you having to take on board the views of the following people

The child's social worker
Your social worker
The Health visitor
The reviewing officer
The child's guardian
Nursey
gp
And the birth parents
All will have Diffrent views of how things should be done often a plan is made and you the one who actually looks after the child has to try and follow it

Also even for foster carers of older children because your not the legal parent they can always appeal to there sw about any punishment that is given I would imagine most people would find parenting diffcult if Somone else had a Vito over any punishment you dished out

For for example I may take away pocket money from my children but my foster child's sw may not agree with that course of reprimand so you can't do it hence your child and the foster child end up being treated Diffrently is easily done

And on another note the children may need to be treated Diffrently due to therapeutic reasons I am quite a shouty mum usually but we did have one little girl that I absolutely couldn't be this way with she was way to fragile

I would like to think I loved all the children as my own but it saddens me to say I couldn't treat them as my own I simply wasn't allowed to

I had children who were not allowed to attend Cubs and because of there legal status I had to go along with it I had one child who I couldn't take on Hoilday eveyone went to Disney land birth mum would give over the passport to be fair sw tried everything she wouldn't have it in the end my kids went with there dad and I stayed at home with my FC however we ened up having this girl for 4 years and tbh I needed a Hoilday so we put her in respite when we went away I guess it did look like we were dumping her and running off on Hoilday with our own kids to People who didn't know us but what things look like and the reality of getting passports off birth parents or getting to sighn consent forms for clubs or party's when there trying to retain every bit of control is a nightmare

That's what most don't foster it's bloody hard

In a ideal world the sw would just give you the children trust the assments they have done and let you get on not many foster carers experience fostering like that.🙁

Any questions please ask as I am sure myself and all the lovey mumsnet foster carers will be happy to answer

onecurrantbun1 Thu 22-Sep-16 16:24:15

YANBU it's not as simple as "a little bit of room in your heart and a little bit of room in your home" (as our local council's advert goes)

My mum and dad were foster carers to two kids for 2 years - they had to get written consent to cut their hair, holidays were nigh on impossible as the birth family insisted on contact 3 x week even though they rarely turned up so 1-2 night breaks was the only option. No allowing the D.C. in bed for a cuddle on a Sunday morning, no consent for school trips, huge amount of age-inappropriate pricey gifts every Xmas and birthday. It is simply not possible to treat birth children and FC the same, or even in an equitable way all the time.

gonetoseeamanaboutadog Thu 22-Sep-16 16:42:00

You are right. And no, most people have no idea but lots of opinions.

MagnumAddict Thu 22-Sep-16 17:09:58

Can I ask a question, if you are a foster carer is that your profession or are you allowed to work outside the home?

Does it differ if you are long term/short term/respite?

MagnumAddict Thu 22-Sep-16 17:11:03

Also is it the same as my understanding of adoption where they prefer to place children younger than your dc?

deadringer Thu 22-Sep-16 17:18:45

I am in ireland and while some of the rules are different we can have similar frustrations with the system. I am very lucky as we have two kids long term and get on well with the birth parents. We are pretty much left to get on with it and make our own decisions. It does annoy me though when i see posts on our fostering fb page saying, "i dont understand why we were not approved to foster, we have a spare room and everything" as if thats all it takes.

Jjacobb Thu 22-Sep-16 17:34:34

I have 4 long term DC and in a lot of instances you are right.
I'm concerned that you had a child 4 years and couldn't take them on holiday. I presume after 4 years the child was on a full care order in which case SWs could overrule the parents decisions. I had a child whose mother with held his passport, his SW simply applied for a new one.

MrsDeVere Thu 22-Sep-16 17:40:23

YANBU.
I caught the tail end of a phone in on R4 this week and I was depressed at some of the attitudes to FC.

There were quite a few who said that FC shouldn't get paid. They should do it for the love.
When asked what that meant for those who couldn't afford to give up work to care for a child the answer was 'find something else to do if you can't afford it, leave it to those who can'

People really seem to think that fostering means you take a child into your home and its all just like having another birth child.

They don't factor in the meetings, the reviews, the appointments, the contact visits. The rules and regulations that dictate most of your life.

Of course not all the children are hard work but many have really complex needs. You can't assume that they can be left on their own or walk to school on their own or do the things that other children their age can.

There are some bloody shocking FC out there. No one can deny it.
But there are so many good ones and they are looked down upon because they take money for doing a job!

Jjacobb Thu 22-Sep-16 17:41:43

I get on pretty well with all my parents and they do pretty much let me get on with it.
I find life much easier now I only have long term placements. Any differences in the way they are treated is usually in the foster child's favour. Lots of extra presents for example. My eldest is 17 and it doesn't bother him. My youngest is 9 and adopted but even though she does have direct contact with her birth mother twice a year BM is not allowed to buy DD presents so that can get a bit tricky sometimes.
Wouldn't change my life for anything though, I love all my little minions. smile

Rockingthestocking Thu 22-Sep-16 17:42:23

I had no idea about any of that. Thank you for enlightening me. It must be so hard. Occasionally I think about fostering. This sadly puts me off. You must be made of stern stuff. I am glad people like you and other foster carers exist. I could never do it.

OlennasWimple Thu 22-Sep-16 17:43:53

OP, YANBU

harderandharder2breathe Thu 22-Sep-16 17:44:00

My only dealings with fostering have been as a brownie leader, we've had a couple of girls who were or had been fostered. They often missed out on trips due to issues with permissions. Knowing the foster parents I'm sure they'd have loved the child to attend but their hands were tied

expatinscotland Thu 22-Sep-16 17:47:21

It's very hard. Couldn't do it myself. Don't have a spare bedroom, either.

sad

WalkingBlind Thu 22-Sep-16 17:49:16

I have a question just because I don't really understand the system, do the birth parents often get the FC back in their care? Or is it until they are adopted by a different family?

Because it seems like they have a lot of input that's detrimental to the poor FC and makes your life difficult. I know they still want to be able to have an input in their child's life but surely in many cases they don't have them due to them not being capable parents. blush I know sometimes it's not the birth parents "fault" but a good parent would want their child to go on holiday and have the same as the others imo.

I have so much respect for foster carers I was an abused/troubled child and would have given anything for a loving foster home (but SW never intervened with my birth parents)

OliviaBensonOnAGoodDay Thu 22-Sep-16 17:50:52

most people have no idea but lots of opinions.

Amen!

The worst is when there's a doc about it on TV, and you get hundreds of thousands of tweets slagging off the carer/SW, from people who have never fostered and would never even honestly consider it.

I have to bite my tongue and sit on my hands.

Whathaveilost Thu 22-Sep-16 17:55:45

I wotk with teenagers for a local authority that is crying out for Foster Carers both long and short term as well as emergency carers.
I attend some if the reviews that you mentioned in the Op. There is not a chance on earth that i would be a foster carer. Its nothing like 'the letting a child in to your life council adverts. There are a lot of very damaged children,especially teenagers, that need so much support and help. So much more than the average family can give without sacrificing a huge part of their own life. '

rhiaaaaaaaannon Thu 22-Sep-16 17:57:15

Yanbu. I had no idea until I really looked in to it, I must say it did put me off.

I'd love to do it when my own family is less demanding but I do wonder how you work alongside it.

OliviaBensonOnAGoodDay Thu 22-Sep-16 18:02:05

Hi Walking. Most children in care will never be adopted, purely because their ties to their birth families are too strong for that to not be incredibly psychologically damaging. That's often why younger children are adopted - not because they're 'cute' but because they're young enough to have a 'fresh start'.

Children in foster care will have, where it's possible and positive, regular contact with their birth families. Even children who have been adopted may have letterbox contact with their birth parents and siblings (updates in the form of letters etc). Contact can be upsetting for children, especially as they get older, but most will still want it despite of this. I think it's up to SWs and carers to prepare for and facilitate in a healthy and positive way as much as they can.

This government is in favour of more adoptions, because it's cheaper for local authorities - adoptive parents don't need to be paid! But in my view it's not the answer for probably 90% of looked after children. They already have families - dysfunctional, chaotic ones in most cases, but they still exist. The answer in my opinion isn't to erase that by giving them a new family, but by helping them therapeutically to come to terms with their pasts.

But that costs money! Not as much money as the 1/3 of adoptions that break down after a year though...

ApocalypseSlough Thu 22-Sep-16 18:02:11

YANBU
There's not a lot of support, and it's an enormous responsibility.

OliviaBensonOnAGoodDay Thu 22-Sep-16 18:02:37

Hi Walking. Most children in care will never be adopted, purely because their ties to their birth families are too strong for that to not be incredibly psychologically damaging. That's often why younger children are adopted - not because they're 'cute' but because they're young enough to have a 'fresh start'.

Children in foster care will have, where it's possible and positive, regular contact with their birth families. Even children who have been adopted may have letterbox contact with their birth parents and siblings (updates in the form of letters etc). Contact can be upsetting for children, especially as they get older, but most will still want it despite of this. I think it's up to SWs and carers to prepare for and facilitate in a healthy and positive way as much as they can.

This government is in favour of more adoptions, because it's cheaper for local authorities - adoptive parents don't need to be paid! But in my view it's not the answer for probably 90% of looked after children. They already have families - dysfunctional, chaotic ones in most cases, but they still exist. The answer in my opinion isn't to erase that by giving them a new family, but by helping them therapeutically to come to terms with their pasts.

But that costs money! Not as much money as the 1/3 of adoptions that break down after a year though...

WannaBe Thu 22-Sep-16 18:03:55

IMO one of the biggest issues is the fact that we are almost led to believe that if a child is removed into care then their parents can no longer have any kind of input into their lives. After all, if a child has been removed, then it was most likely for that child's safety, and as such is incomprehensible that the parents who have harmed this child, from whose care this child has been removed, still have the veto in terms of what the child is/isn't allowed to do etc.

And the "all you need is love in your heart," message clashes with the fact that fostering is actually a paid profession, hence why so many people find it difficult to reconcile.

Personally I couldn't do it, but my DP grew up in long-term foster care, as did all his siblings, so I do have a better understanding of the process than most.

raspberrysuicide Thu 22-Sep-16 18:04:39

Someone I know who fosters dresses her own children in Boden and the foster kids in supermarket clothes. Her kids have ipads and every known device and the foster kids have nothing.
They take their own kids out for the day and on holiday but leave the foster kids behind.
It's very unfair especially as they can only afford all that because of having the foster children!

WalkingBlind Thu 22-Sep-16 18:07:14

Thank you Olivia that does make sense, what a shame about the government's focus on funding rather than welfare sad Bloody government. I totally realise now you've said it why fostering is more beneficial for older children, still it's a shame that the birth parents can restrict things they might really want to do just for a bit of control

Ericaequites Thu 22-Sep-16 18:08:44

In the States, foster parents receive less money monthly than is spent to board a police horse. In Rhode Island, they receive $ 175- per year for clothes for children 12-17. Often, foster children are moved around with their belongings in trash bags. If you have old luggage or duffel bags in good clean condition, call your local authority. They could use them.

Thefishewife Thu 22-Sep-16 18:09:42

poster MagnumAddict Thu 22-Sep-16 17:09:58

It's usually depends often people like nurses and fireman are OK because they have days off at a time and can usually work round a partner however

For under 5 usually they want Somone at home full time

And even with teens depending on there needs for example they may not be in school it may or may not be possible most people find PT works best with older children

But it's a very tough job in its self unless it's a related job eg teacher Ect most people don't have the engery

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