BBC NEWS ITEM

(32 Posts)
p99gmb Fri 18-Mar-11 09:25:36
shaz298 Fri 18-Mar-11 12:05:06

Thanks for this. Will it apply is Scotland too? x

maypole1 Fri 18-Mar-11 16:35:06

not happy at all so hes hopes they will sighn up dose he, mr loughton should of made them sighn up.

NanaNina Sat 19-Mar-11 23:36:44

Sorry but I think this is just political waffle. It isn't true anyway that fostered children can't have sleepovers - this was dealt with some years ago by the Children's Minister at the time (think it was Maragret Hodge) and of course foster carers can get children's hair cut.

It was the last govt that produced the weighty "Minimum Standards in Foster Care Regulation" and it was against these standards (many of which were simply unachievable) that LAs were inspected by the then Social Care Commission, now been replaced by Ofsted.

I certainly would not disagree with supporting foster carers and belive that they are the "unsung heroes" of the child care system in this country. I spect 30 years of my working life championing the rights of foster carers as a sw and tm mgr in a fostering & adoption team. I am now retired and know that childrens services are in dire straits, some LAs (especially inner cities) running at 30 to 40% vacancy rates, and you can't run a service like that. Also thanks to Lord Laming, social workers now have to spend around 70% of their time in front of a computer screen instead of out visiting families and supporting foster carers.

However it seems the National Standards are going to be diluted - that's fine until there is a child tragedy in a foster home (and yes sadly they do happen, not often thank god, but when they do, it is usually very serious, often fatal for a child) and then there will be a hoo haa about the foster care regs and they will be beeefed back up again and there will be condemnation of the dilution in standards that is now being taken by Loughton.

p99gmb Sun 20-Mar-11 08:53:07

On the hair cuts, I guess each provider may be different, but we CAN'T have their hair cut, without asking for "permission" from the parent.

chocaholic2011 Sun 20-Mar-11 09:42:17

We can't get haircuts without parents permission either. Big no no.

Sleepovers also need sw permission.

However I don't suppose either will bother the newborn LO with us at the mo! lol !!!

caz2go Sun 20-Mar-11 12:35:11

Hi ,our 10yr old F/D was invited to a sleepover at a friends house a couple of weeks ago ,when we mentioned this to her s/w we were told that the parents of the child having the sleepover would have to be crb checked !. At the time I wasnt quite 100% sure enough to argue (this is our 1st placement ) ,but after having double checked with fostering network have found this to be incorrect.
I am now angry as our f/d has missed out on something simply due to the fact she is a lac.
The s/w has been on leave since ,but when she returns I will give her the information I found out and suggest she reads up on the new guidelines .
Caz x

CheeseEnforcementAgency Sun 20-Mar-11 12:55:07

Here sleepovers are at the FCs discretion. We advise FC to decide as if it was their own child. Hair cuts I've never been asked about but I deal with children in long term care where we wouldnt encourage parental involvement at that level.

We have to ask parents permission for haircuts as well.

Sleepovers are very much frowned upon unless the family is CRB checked or are another fostering family.

It has been drummed into us that these are NOT our children, they have parents of their own who have the right to make these decisions.

On a lighter note, I was in a pre-placement meeting with parents who's 18 month old was coming to us in the next day or so and the father had some expectations of us as foster carers.

We were not to have the childs hair cut.

We must not have the child tattooedshock

And under no circumstances were we to buy the child any gold jewellery as this, I was firmly told, was a fathers jobsmile

p99gmb Sun 20-Mar-11 14:20:06

so EMIN... you are carrying on then??? Brilliant.. grin

on sleepovers.. we have been told that it is our discretion, that LAC must not 'suffer' due to red tape, but that the address must be 'police checked' prior to the sleepover - and this apparently takes a matter of minutes and is done by SS...

Oh for the same rules across the board...

daisydoofer Sun 20-Mar-11 14:46:13

We are not allowed to have child's haircut, allow sleepovers or school photographs without permission from birth family or social worker. Also if a looked after child attends a friends birthday party the foster carer has to stay with them, regardless of the child's age. I wish LA's would allow children to be the same as their friends. They are constantly made to feel different.

no p99gmb, that placement was many years ago, still makes me chuckle thoughsmile

NanaNina Sun 20-Mar-11 18:51:02

I think those of you who are still being told children can't have sleep overs unless parents are CRB checked need to contact Fostering networks as caztogo did. Can't believe the hair cut thing is still going on. Obviously if a girl had very long hair you would probably be criticised by the birth parent if she had it cut very short, but trims etc should be part and parcel of everyday care. These things should be agreed at the pre placement meeting or a placement meeting asap after the child placed with you.

Seems like a lot of soc works don't know about sleepovers and this is schocking. As for staying with a LAC at a birthday party - this is plain nonsense and needs to be challeneged. What about writing to Mr Loughton about these matters, or again contact Fostering Network. Think there is a lot of "back covering" going on with soc wrkrs at present, not really difficult to see why in some respects.

Loved the one about no tattoees and no gold jewellery - bet that is going to cause some problems!

fishtankneedscleaning Sun 20-Mar-11 22:11:13

We were going on a holiday abroad. As I had always taken my foster children on holiday I booked and paid for the child that was with us to come. The SW said I had to request permission from the child's birth mother. This I did and birth mother was all for it.

Next came a request from social worker that we do not take the child on holiday because it would not be fair to his sister, who was in a different placement. After a great deal of upset for the child (and ourselves) a respite placement was found. A month later the sibling was taken abroad on holiday with her foster carers. I was bloody fuming!!!!

NanaNina Mon 21-Mar-11 18:40:35

OMG fishtank - that is absolutely appalling - can't believe the stupidity of some social workers. You really should have made a complaint about your sw, to her tm mgr and if no joy then you can always go through the complaints procedure. I don't think you foster carers on these threads should be putting up with these ridiculous "rules" that seem to be made up by the social worker. DON'T stand for it - complain and make a noise!!

fishtankneedscleaning Mon 21-Mar-11 18:55:44

Ooooh believe me I did complain. It was too late for the child, who had to go into respite care whilst his foster family, including another foster child, went on holiday without him.

It was also too late for the foster family who had no other option than to go on holiday without a valued member of the family.

Our worst holiday ever! Once I started talking about bringing the Children's Commissioner on board the LA decided they would de register me as I could not work with the LA.

maypole1 Mon 21-Mar-11 21:41:42

Well i just had to book and hoilday for my whole family expect me and the foster child because after 1 years and 6 months of asking they still havent got permission from the mum and only now and they talking about taking it to court

Well gee thanks how long will that take they see to think you can pitch up and sort a hoilday out and a passport a few weeks before a hoilday gurrr well i WILL NOT be taking ANY MORE PLACEMENTS WITH OUT A PASSPORT or a PASSPORT FORM SIGHNED and in the post before the placement arrives

maypole1 Mon 21-Mar-11 21:42:15

And because i dont want lo to go into respite i have to stay behind with lo

shaz298 Tue 22-Mar-11 09:04:16

Maypole that's awful. Thank you for posting, we are just waiting to go to panel and I will def bear this in mind when we are offered a placement. Thanks

NanaNina Tue 22-Mar-11 12:42:38

shaz - all LAs and the social workers in them are all very different, as is the case with anybody else in life really. Some social workers will go the extra mile and are reallysupportive, others are just average and some shsould be in another job. I worked for 25 yrs in a LA as a sw and tm mgr of a fostering & adoption team for thelast 15 of those years.

It does sound horrendous what people are saying but please don't ask for a passport before a placement (though I understand Maypole's frustration)because this would be considered very strange. The child might only be with you for 2 weeks.

The other thing I want to say (and it's not an excuse) but the reality is that many LAs are really struggling in childrens services to recruit and retain staff. The job has become so difficult and stressful and becasue of Lord Laming's report after the tragic death of Victoria Climbie, social workers are spending around 70% of their time in front of computer screens.

I am still in touch with some of my colleagues and am very sad to hear how bad things have got in the shire county LA that I worked for. Some inner city areas have 30 -40% vacancy rates and it isn't possible to run a service like that. I would make a point of asking about support for yourselves when you go to panel.

shaz298 Tue 22-Mar-11 13:40:40

Nana, I know there are some really good workers out there, but like you say and like any line of work there are those who aren't

I won't be asking for a passport, what I meant was that I would raise the issue of travel right at the start. We are going for approval for long term/permanent to hopefully the placement would last MUCH longer than 2 weeks x

scarlet5tyger Tue 22-Mar-11 14:53:36

My LA now (allegedly) acquire a passport for all LAC when they first come into care - they say it's for identity purposes but I suppose it would also help avoid situations like this. I always raise planned holidays at placement meetings, in fact I'm usually asked about them by whoever's chairing the meeting, but have still had problems with parents not wanting their children to come with me. Luckily SW has always over ruled.

caz2go Tue 22-Mar-11 18:10:24

Hi ,just a quick query ,does all foster carers require a covering letter with pemission to take the lac out of the country to present at the airport.
Lo,s s/w has sent us one ,and I was just wondering if this is compulsary and has anyone had any problems at the airport when taking the lac on holiday ?.
We are going abroad on holiday in May with f/d for the first time .

fostering Tue 22-Mar-11 21:49:40

cazz2go, you should def carry the letter of authority. We have never needed one to get out of the country but we always have to show the letter to get a child back in.
Never had any trouble other then that.

maypole1 Wed 23-Mar-11 00:19:54

I surpised they even ask their are so many blened familes now and its very common for children to have diffrent surnames from their parents.

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