Fostering agencies

(12 Posts)
bonnieslilsister Tue 02-Oct-12 17:28:15

Anyone any experience of Barnados? Anyone any experience of swapping from LA to an agency?

I dont want to stop fostering, I know that. However something has happened where I don't think I can work with the LA anymore, or once fc has gone anyway. please don't be too harsh on me NanaNina

Anyone know if it is still the case that you have to have your whole assessment again?

scarlet5tyger Tue 02-Oct-12 19:53:34

Bonnieslilsister I'm really sorry to read you're having such a tough time. I think it's dreadful that so often the children we foster are the least trouble in the whole fostering business - there should be a whole training course on the real "issues" foster carers have to deal with.

I'm afraid I have no experience of changing from LA to agency, or vice versa, but think you DO have to be re-assessed again. There was something in those new reforms that were announced last month about adoptive parents not having to be reassessed if they adopted again though and I vaguely remember seeing something about making it easier for FC to move to other LAs too... Not sure if I'm remembering accurately though, or if it applies to moving to agency... Sorry!

One word of warning from friends I know who foster for agency, and from posts on other fostering forums, there really really aren't many children being placed with agencies at the moment. I was chatting to my support worker the other day about it and she said my own LA is just waiting for a serious incident to occur because they're having to leave children at home and at risk because the money simply isn't there to even place them with LA carers!

BusterTheDonk Tue 02-Oct-12 20:05:48

thanks much love Bonnieslilsister.... x x x x x

bonnieslilsister Tue 02-Oct-12 20:07:55

Thanks Scarlet. I think I remember reading the same thing but can't remember where.

What you are saying is awful sad to think of waiting for a serious incident to happen.

I am not saying I definately will change but I will certainly investigate. I don't want to stop fostering as I love doing this so much.

NanaNina Wed 03-Oct-12 15:26:20

Hi Bonnie and of course I am not going to "blame" you, even though I am anti IFAs, but less so about the voluntary agencies like Barnardoes. After what you have been through I can see absolutely why you want nothing more to do with them. Did you make a formal complaint?

You would have to be completely re-assessed because the LA is not going to "give something away" to a vol org that they have spent a good deal of their resources on, unless there is some collaboration between LAs and Barnardoes (sometimes this happens and LAs commission vol orgs to undertake certain tasks for them, e.g. recruiting carers for children with disabilities, or something else for which there is a specific need).

I think what Scarlet says is true and as I have often said on these threads the LA just don't have the funding to make plcts outside of their LA, and if they have to (and this does happen) they will get the child back into LA foster care as soon as possible. I can also believe that children are being left at home as there is insufficient funding to bring them into care, although I think this just means that the "threshold" for removing children has been tightened because of a lack of funding. It really is awful and I blame this coalition for slashing the budgets of all public services.

Is there any way Bonnie that you can continue with your LA. I think you would have more chance of reaching some middle ground if you do follow the complaints procedure. You could talk to sws from a neighbouring LA and give your reasons for wanting to leave your own LA and they would of course contact your LA but may well agree that you have been badly treated and take you on. After all foster carers (especially ones like you!) are gold dust.

What do you reckon?

Fosterangel Wed 03-Oct-12 16:23:56

I know that I am new to fostering but could you not switch your fostering to any neighbouring LA. I know that the rules and regs are probably going to be the same in all LA's but the staff may be more sympathetic and understanding or just more professional. I would like to know about changing too so have a selfish interest in any response (Nananina we need you!).

Fosterangel Wed 03-Oct-12 16:26:42

Oops I think my response crossed with Nananina's anyway! But any further additional advice on a straight transfer over to another LA would always be welcome xx

bonnieslilsister Wed 03-Oct-12 18:21:53

If I go through the complaints procedure do you think they will be reluctant to place children with me afterwards?

scarlet5tyger Wed 03-Oct-12 19:53:00

I think I agree with Nananina about contacting a neighbouring LA. it would be a shame for a lovely FC like yourself to be wasted waiting for placements, and I can't see the situation with agencies changing any time soon.

NanaNina Wed 03-Oct-12 21:15:09

Bonnie I think you should follow the complaints procedure (and I know what the issue is by your PM) and write to the team manager, and it may be that the issue could be resolved. I would include in your letter that you feel so strongly about this issue that you are thinking of resigning. See what happens next and you can make a decision about the next step (or not) The LA should not be reluctant to place children with you, but sadly there is no guarantee that they would do this, as you would not know if they were acting so unprofessionally. Through this forum I am finding out how unbelievably incompetent some of these sws are, and also how foster carers are ridden over rough shod.

In a way I think it's swings and roundabouts Bonnie, because I am sure you cannot just continue as though nothing has happened, so in a way you need to try to get this matter sorted out by a meeting with the ssw and his/her team manager. PM me if you need to.

bonnieslilsister Thu 04-Oct-12 08:38:59

Thanks everyone for all your support and pm's I will get back to you all. In haste x

littlemissbugging Mon 08-Oct-12 22:38:28

Hi :-) We're with an agency and the support has been great, our SW is spot on - the LA SW's we've come into contact have been rather shocking!!
Hope you get sorted :-)

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