New and struggling(4 Posts)
Hi we are newbies. We can't do right for doing wrong with our LA. We are told our standards are too high by the manager and we risk falling out with social workers by being too demanding. We take issue when reports on the foster child or our supervision notes contain wrong information about the child or about us which happens a lot. We cannot get copies of meeting notes or supervision notes (we have chased monthly for notes on meetings going back to July 2012) and when we do they often contain wrong factual information (one time we had someone else's supervision details superimposed into our supervision notes!). Contact is frequently cancelled by social services because they do not have the staff to supervise the contact (not because birth mum cancels). The children are promised contact with wider family which never happens due to lack of staff to do the visits.
We have had incorrect information recorded i.e. numbers of bedrooms in our home incorrectly recorded, persons living in our home completely missed out, sleeping arrangements wrongly recorded (who sleeps where in the home) and facts about the foster child wrongly recorded.
Do I just put up with this shoddy and second rate service or do we continue to point out all the errors. We have had the manager come out and see us and we are thought to be a bit "high maintenance". We have pointed out that this is child protection and safeguarding and we do not think that standards can be less than really high!!!
Are we too anal to foster. Is sloppy good enough? We are going to fall out with our LA if we are not careful but we cannot accept second best service.
Where do we go from here?
I have administrative experience of social services so I'm sorry I can't give you advice on how to proceed but I found social workers to be completely snowed under with work. They wanted to be out in the field talking to people but were drowning under paperwork.
They often gave scrawly written notes to temp admin staff to type up and mistakes happened, it used to drive me crazy. I'm not excusing the mistakes you've found, just saying they are very overworked ime.
Personally thats why we left and decied to adopt i come from a chid care background and there is some very poor practice going on
Personally i find the chikdrens sw of much poorer quailty that the support sw
WELCOME TO FOSTERING
Ther are pretty much only three things you can do
1-carry on as is
2- forget about sw problem slove document you trying to contact them and bring things up at LACK review if needed
2- Move to a VA were your support will be inderpandant of the LA and will back you a bit more
I think all you can do is your best just because others are failing dosent mean you cant be a fab foster carer and its not a reflection on you because others are not doing there job
I dont for one minute by that sw are snowed under we once had a 2 hour meeting about a meeting that was to take place the following week also one about me keeping my front room window open as sw thought my house was cold so they seem to have in my view plenty of time of ther hands and when there is a crisis nobody is around seems in my view easier for them to tamper in trival things than help deal with crisis which in my view is the bulk of there job
I know exactly where you are coming from on this. We have never been told we're high maintenence carers but really think that this is how we too are viewed particularly from the LAC team in our LA. Out of interest was it a LAC manager or fostering team manager who told you you are high maintenance?
In fairness we have had some support from our fostering team both SSW and fostering team managers who have told us to keep advocating for the child even if that means stamping and screaming sometimes which we frequently do . It is the LAC workers (and I've met a good few now) who I have issues with.
In our relatively short time fostering ( a couple of years) we've lost count of the number of times our LA have failed miserably in so many areas, contact is a big one and we've now given up asking for copies of reports, contact notes etc as they never materialise. I've attended meetings about arranging meetings and so called professional meetings which were a complete joke so am sceptical about just how overworked they really are. In fairness this must vary from LA to LA but I don't think they are all as busy as they like us to think!
I would give up fostering without hesitation if I felt I had to lower my standards to fit in. The children in our care deserve the best, in the main they are unable to speak up for themselves and need us to do it for them, why should we compromise on our beliefs and high standards of foster care just beacause some of the LAs are failing in their duty of care to these children.
In answer to your question don't put up with the shoddy service, keep advocating and if necessary keep shouting until the people who make the decisions listen. LA's need good foster carers like you and it would be a pity if you left to go to an agency because people aren't doing their jobs.
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