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Be my Parent website(9 Posts)
I didn't know if anyone had ever made any inquiries about long term fostering through this website be my parent.
I am at the very beginning of my fostering journey. I had a sw from la and one from a private agency visit me and they asked lots of questions and filled in forms.
I asked both of them to give me a week to 10 days to decide what i wanted to do.
In the meantime i discovered be my parent website and saw a child i was very interested in fostering long term. The child is from london area...so i appl;ied online and rang the childs sw in london. They asked me a lot of questions on the phone and said that if we went ahead it would be their la in london that assessed me. They said they would discuss it with their sw team and get back to me in 1 to 2 weeks.
Meanwhile my own la sw rang me back and also the private agency sw to see if i wanted to proceed with fostering application. I told htem i had seen a child on be my parent and made an inquiry so they now say they cant proceed until i know what i am doing with the London inquiry.
I guess i wondered what people do who are already assessed by their own la and htey use the website and see a child from another la on be my parent...do they have to stop fostering and be assessed by the new la to find out if they could be a prospective fc to the child on bmp website.
When i rang london sw to inquire they said it was a shame i wasnt already assessed??..but i was it would be with my own la..not theirs..i dont uinderstand it all.
Foster carers are not allowed to be registered with more than one LA/Agency at a time.
The reason they are saying its s pity you're not already addressed is because the assessment process will mean delay for that particular child.
but if i was already assessed by my own la or a private agency...wouldnt they have to assess me again anyway because they have their own assessment process surely??
Puffin: that is not true for Scotland. Here you can be registered with more than 1 agency. Doesn't happen often bit can happen.
I was really interested in having a lo join our family from BMP. I contacted my SSW who did the negotiations. We have now Bern to matching panel and hopefully lo will be coming home very soon :-D
HI scootbabe - I have 30 years experience in fostering & adoption both as a social worker and manager for a LA and am now retired.
I think you ae trying to run before you can walk.....don't mean that critically really. When you approached the LA and the iFA were you thinking of short term fostering (thought that can sometimes stretch to 2 yrs and beyond) or permanent fostering? I think BMP confused you by saying they wouldhave to do the assessment. This isn't how it works. Your own LA would do the assessment and then they would "sell" you to the London Borough (it's called an inter agency agreement) and it would proceed on that basis. The child's sw in London would then decide whether you were a god "match" for this child. Mostly it is only approved adoptors that contact the journals, showing interest in some child featured.
I realy don't think it's a god idea to pursue any interest in the child you saw advertised in the BeMyParent website. The reason I say this is because you can tell very little just looking at a picture and reading the profile, which will not give you any real idea of what this child is like. Also the children who are advertised in these journals are all children who the LAs have been unable to place, and so they are widening the search nation wide, and so they are likely to be very difficult children. I know it's tempting to see a cute looking child but believe me there will be mega problems associated with the child and his/her past experience. This is also the case with LA children too.
My advice (FWIW) is to decide whether you want to pursue your application via the LA or the IFA. What age are you considering? I think the best thing is to pursue your application via the LA and the reason I say this is because LAs only use IFAs for children they cannot place in their own authority (for short term placements) because IFAs charge the LA a significant amount of money for carers that they have approved. If you decide to go with the IFA, then ask how many children of whatever age range you are thinking of that they have placed in the last 2 years. The thing is LAs are all cash strapped as this govt have slashed the budgets of all public services, so they really can't afford to "buy" approved carers from IFAs - so you will probably find the IFA ready to pursue your application quicker than the LA because they have much more time and more resources that LAs do but if they approve you, as I've said before you will have to wait for the LA to need to "buy" you from the IFA.
The other thing is that you are always invited on to a preparation group which covers all aspects of fostering and gives you the opportunity of learning far more about fostering and raising any queries that you might have. The assessment follows if you still wish to proceed. LAs run these courses through the year but you may have a wait for the next one.
The other thing is that I always worried about applicants who wanted to be approved to be permanent foster carers because it is a huge step to take, and the child is told this is her "forever family" and then it can go wrong. I always think it best to start of applying to short term a child and then it will give you an idea of how it feels to have a foster child in your home and get more information about how the system works. All Looked After Childrren have a Care Plan and that is either working to get the child back home, or have her adopted or permanently fostered. Very occasionally it can work out well as a child who is placed with carers on a short term basis willneed a permanent placement and none is available and the st carers are willing to consider permanency and these placements are very successful.
My advice is to contact the LA and get far more info. If you have birth children, most LAs like there to be a 2 year gap between a fostered child and a birth child, and a fostered child will do better as the youngest in the family. There are many other things to consider, so slow down, take it a step at a time. Taking a child into your home who has suffered trauma in the past i.e. sexual abuse, physical abuse and of course emotional abuse. These children can display challenging behaviour but many foster carers successfully care for these children and create a stable loving home for them.
Hope I haven't confused you too much. You can PM me if you like.
Nana Nina's advice is spot on.
Have to say in the current climate I would go LA - although they pay less they look at their carers first before placing in IFA's.
thanks for all your comments. I have decided that if nothing comes of this be my parent enquiry, then i will go with la as i feel they can better match a foster child to my family. Just been asked by sw in london to write a little bit about my family and myself and to include a couple of pics of house and bedroom. They are having a meeting in next 2 weeks and will consider my application as it currently stands and let me know outcome in about 2 weeks...so i don't have too long to wait to find out if we will progress any further on the inquiry. They did say they will assess me and my family for fostering if we are successful although it will probably be a long process and lots of traveling for both them and us.
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