Can't care because you care too much

(38 Posts)
BusterTheDonk Tue 11-Sep-12 19:33:57

Hi all...

Any advice/support welcome - really need to rant and get this off my chest... we've had the summer from hell and can't believe what we are being told.

For those of you who 'know' me.. we got asked to be SGO's for a little baby 10 days after she was placed with us shock which we initially said no to, but then a few weeks later said yes. Health issues made SW think she wouldn't be adopted.

As her health these past few months has improved smile they have now decided that she is 'adoptable' and so have altered the care plan and the plan is to have her adopted.

Ok.. gutted but have had no other choice but to accept it and come to terms with it.

The sting in the tail is that they (SS) now say we are 'too bonded' with her and so want to move her to another short term FC who will care for her until she is found her forever family. She has had 3 moves already (which includes her move to us) (she is only 10mths old) and now they want to do another one - potentially for a few months only until family is found... (final hearing due in 3wks time)

Basically, they think its 'cruel' to ask us to do this transition, and worry what it would do to us... I've spoken to BAAF who say if they do this (because its about us not coping with the transition - not about her best interests) then they are being down right neglectful. Guardian does not want it but doesn't feel able to intervene.

Our SSW thinks we should be allowed to do it with extra support(as it was them who asked us to do the SGO in the first place!!) but that yes, we would find it hard but then so do lots of other carers - particularly with babies.

Feels like we are being punished because we care... sad

bonnieslilsister Tue 11-Sep-12 21:03:13

Oh Buster poor you. I am so sorry this has happened. If they move her twice it will be detrimental to her. Poor little girl and poor you. They are not acting in her best interest. How can they think they are. Have you said to them you want her to stay with you until she is found a forever family?

It is probably because she has bonded so well with you that she is so much improved in health.

Thinking about you thanks xxx

MMMarmite Tue 11-Sep-12 21:06:54

That's awful! Surely the less moves the better for her. I don't know much about the system, hope there is some way you can fight this decision.

BusterTheDonk Tue 11-Sep-12 22:06:05

We've told them we want to care for her until her forever family is found - we have put in lots of support to help us do the transition - we have the offer from other carers who have moved babies on to help us - we've pointed out that all of these moves are detrimental to her, that they are setting up a potential attachment disorder..

They admit that she is coming on 'in leaps and bounds' with us, no concerns about her care, and that her improvement in health is partially down to us..

Also quoted to them that BAAF question what messages it is sending to her - was she moved(again) because she is unloveable? What if she doesn't attach to these new carers - they won't have an attachment to help her transfer across to the adopters...

Whatever happened to her best interests being paramount???

sad sad sad poor babba

Fostering is not always a good job sad

You could think about getting children's rights officer involved though not sure how it'd work with little ones I work with older children and they have to ask/agree to us contacting them on their behalf.

bonnieslilsister Tue 11-Sep-12 22:32:05

Fostering network might have some idea of what you could do.....I admit fostering is not nice sometimes.....I am going through a similar thing at the moment, almost feeling I want to stop fostering and yet I dont as I love the children but sometimes the whole sw thing gets me down....might pm you actually xx

scarlet5tyger Tue 11-Sep-12 22:37:19

Hi Buster, sorry to read this particularly when I too am facing a child being moved when not in their best interest.

Does the child's social worker not think it will be just as hard for you to move baby to another carer as it will be to adoptive parents? If not harder as you're so understandably against it?

There's so much thrown at carers in training about how many moves children have to go through and what a detrimental effect this has on them- yet in my experience the only moves MY FC have been through (with the exception of moving on) have been dodgy decisions made by SS desperate to be seen to do the right thing.

Unfortunately I've found there is little you can do if a SWs mind is made up. I fought a move right to the top levels in the past and it still went ahead. It seems the people who make the decisions are more willing to listen to a SW who sees the child maybe 12 times a year if they're lucky than they are to the people caring for them 24 hours a day.

I've got fingers and toes crossed that all works out for you.

PS - why does the Guardian feel unable to intervene?? It's their JOB to intervene!

BusterTheDonk Tue 11-Sep-12 22:38:04

thanks scariest.. I've just looked and it does say from age 7 but its still worth a try... thanks..

to be honest, I am struggling to understand why the guardian won't stand up for her... she is her voice and her representative..

so sorry you are having a hard time too bonnie.. please, pm me and we can moan to each other...

We have an independent representative from Fostering Network, but again, restricted in 'getting their sleeves rolled up'...

looks like our last attempt is to speak to our local councillor who sits on the CP board

NinePeedles Wed 12-Sep-12 09:11:16

Hi Buster,

This sort of thing makes my blood boil! I feel angry and sad on your behalf.
It is hard to believe that this sort of thing still happens.

Your SSW should be more assertive, and what is the Guardian for if not to advocate for what is best for the child? It beggars belief!

It seems clear to me that it should be you who moves this little one on to a forever family. Of course it is going to be tough, you know that. But the alternative is even worse, both for you and the child!

I think it is this sort of bad practice which stops people fostering.
I truly hope this situation has the happiest ending.
I am off for a brew to get my blood pressure back down!
Good luck, I will be thinking about you.

BusterTheDonk Wed 12-Sep-12 10:30:56

thanks everyone... its reassuring to know we are not over-reacting

We've just spoken to the councillor who is vice chairman of the CP board and he is coming to see us tonight!!! [yikes emotion]

Its our last shot but she deserves us to fight for her....

this job is so so so so so hard... its her life they are messing with

x x

bottersnike Wed 12-Sep-12 10:38:09

I really hope that the child's social worker comes to their senses. They are talking about deliberately forcing a child to cope with a traumatic detachment from you, in the misguided and harmful belief that it will facilitate a more secure attachment later on.
A completely stupid plan on their part. Please put your foot down with social services, particularly the independent reviewing officer, and insist they review their decision. Talk to the Director of Children's Services if you have to; someone in the team must see that this is one of the worst things they could do to a child at 10 months old in terms of attachment.
I know you know this (because from everything I've read on here you're a fabulous carer) but your job is to move that child on securely to her forever home. Ensuring that you are the ones to do this when the child has bonded so well with you is a fundamental part of that job
Good luck, please let us know how you get on.
x

Hi Buster, I'm appalled at SS for this. Hang in there and remember this lo can't fight or speak up for herself, she only has you. In a similar situation I was told "this won't make you popular, we don't expect our carers to go against us" my response was "its not all about me and its definately not all about you."

My feeling is that once you've bonded with a lo you're bonded come what may. Are they planning on moving every child you bond with? I was always told the fewer moves a child has the more likely they are to form attachments long term.

Good luck x

NanaNina Wed 12-Sep-12 13:16:03

Hi BtheD - nice to "talk" again but can barely believe what I am reading. There is absolutely no logic at all in this new plan and is most certainly not in the best interests of the child as you know only too well. The notion that it would be "too cruel" to put you through this is nonsense, as the swss duty is to act in the best interests of the child, not the foster carers or any other adult. How in god's name can carers be too bonded to a child - utter nonsense. I would be seriously concerned about any sw or mgr that believes this notion. It is fundamentally flawed as a concept.

Who exactly is making this decision - is it the tm mgr from C & F team, and sw and your SSW and the guardian are afraid to stand up to her/him. If this is the case I would say that the SSW's manager should discuss this plan as a matter of urgency with the C & F Tm Mgr.

There is a complaints procedure that you could have followed, but I don't blame you for involving this councillor. What councillors usually do is pass it on to the Director of SS and then she/he passes it back down the line to the manager who made the decision. It has to be dealt with quickly as the Director will be on his/her back for an explanation as they will need to feed back to the Councillor.

I don't know of a system where a Councillor is a vice chair of the CP Board but there is obviously one in your area. Usually there is a chair and vice chair of the Social Services Committe who are in effect the employers of SSDs.

Be interested to hear how you get on, and sorry you are having to go through all this and knowing that the child cannot stay with you. You must have been riding an emotional roller coaster for some time. I think social workers tend to forget that foster carers feelings, just like the rest of the human race!

Hayleyh34 Wed 12-Sep-12 13:19:21

As a mother of an adopted child that had 4 moves within foster care before she came to us aged 3 this makes me so cross.

2 years on we are still trying to convince her that we are her forever family.

You should be applauded for caring so much

SandWitch Wed 12-Sep-12 14:51:52

OP - call the allocated IRO.
Today.

LA's are no longer permitted to change placements on a whim - an IRO can call a halt to any placement move until there has, at least, been a LAC review to agree the change in care plan.

Have a read of this...
media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/i/iro%20%20%20statutory%20guidance%20iros%20and%20las%20march%202010.pdf

Section 3.77 gives details of when a LAC review should be held - I am an IRO - feel free to PM me if I can be of any help.

Cazzmags Wed 12-Sep-12 14:52:08

Hi Buster

I really really feel for you as we could have been in this situation ourselves. SS still have the ability to render me speechless but I really should have learnt by now that anything can happen when you're dealing with them.

I hope your meeting goes well tonight. I too am amazed at the guardian's lack of intervention, can you challenge him/her further? Would it be worth involving the IRO?

Let us know how it goes and for what it's worth you can never care too much, caring is what we do best. thanks

BusterTheDonk Wed 12-Sep-12 19:21:43

thanks again everyone... just waiting for the councillor to arrive...

in relation to the IRO - we had the stat review yesterday where he asked her to 'ratify' his decision... she did without asking us why/how we thought we'd cope and what we'd put in place (support wise) to help us cope... nothing.. just, 'yes I agree' shock

Our SSw made a comment outside saying the IRO used to work with him so not too sure about the "I" in IRO iyswim angry

NanaNina... so wish I worked as one of your carers - you sound perfect and very foster carer friendly wink

EMIN - hope you have strength and are recovering well..

Bless you all - your support and kind words mean the world right now...

x

SandWitch Wed 12-Sep-12 19:34:57

Buster - I replied to your PM - hope it came through ok and good luck for later.

BusterTheDonk Wed 12-Sep-12 22:11:01

thank you a million times sandwitch... if only you had been the IRO sitting in that meeting wink

The meeting tonight was well... amazing...

Turns out he too is a FC for the same LA and has been warned too about being 'too bonded' with his LO's.... me and him were both in tears talking about it...

We may still not win, but my God, we'll go down fighting...

The support and advice on here is just second to none and from the deepest part of my broken heart, I thank you all once more thanks x

NanaNina Wed 12-Sep-12 22:19:27

How incredible BtheD - did you confirm the exact position of this councillor in the SSD.

Did you formulate a plan as to where to go from here?

bonnieslilsister Wed 12-Sep-12 22:26:38

I am so glad you have him on your side Buster remember you have done an amazing job with your lo and she has come on in leaps and bounds because of you.

I have never heard such rubbish in all my life about being 'too bonded'. What do they want? A child who shows no attachment or is not bothered about being away from her carer and a carer who couldn't care less about her fc? That has to be challenged.

Anyway, can you have a wee glass of wine or a brew to unwind from the madness? thanks

numbertaker Wed 12-Sep-12 22:26:46

I am so shocked. I am not a FC but how in the world can you not get too bonded with a child. What are you supposed to be colder to them than your own child so they don't form an attachement, its the biggest load of crap I have ever heard. I am in awe at foster carers, but I could just never do it.

BusterTheDonk Wed 12-Sep-12 22:29:57

Yes NanaNina... he's on the cabinet of the LA and meets every week with the head of Children's Services and the Deputy Head...

His jaw hit the floor on many occasions, and it was so relevant to his life in so many many ways... he was shocked about it all to say the least....

He so understood, being a FC himself and being in a very similar situation...

He was a very 'gentle' man but was taking away our notes and getting in touch with the deputy head tonight.....

Its pretty much our last shot, but at least we'll know we've done our absolute best for her ... let them think what they will... I can hold my head up high.. they should hang theirs in shame..

MUM33T Thu 13-Sep-12 16:04:49

Hi all

Just registered and am catching up on some interesting threads.

We have been fostering a little girl for 6 months who has formed a strong attachment to me - last week her Guardian said that she would need to be moved sooner rather that later because of this which I found rather bizarre.

This is our first placement so we are still getting used to the amazing amount of people involved in one case and are unsure of how much say or influence we have in the future of our FD life but I, like all the rest of you, were of the opinion that its not in the childs interest to keep moving them.

Anyway - great to read some other fostering posts smile

Fishwife1949 Fri 14-Sep-12 20:01:39

The do this because after a year every foster carer has the right o go for adoption and they dont want you to use it

Their is a stop you cam get which means the child cannot be moved for 3 months whilest it is heard in court LA dont like foster carers adopting children when they are ear marked for approved adoptors

Please ring adoption uk they can help you And give advice

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