ok im confused. at our last review (last march next one due on the 27th of this month) we were told we had done all the mandatory training and also we had completed 16 of the akamas courses online so our ssw told us we didn't need to do any further training. now we have never attended a physical training course, except the first aid course. despite this we were told we were up to date. last week my best friend was approved as a foster carer. she gave me the list that was given to her by her ssw detailing the mandatory courses. we have not done any of the courses on that list! my question is have they changed in the past 12 months? if so shouldn't our ssw have told us about it? im concerned now because if we haven't completed them we can be dropped down a tier (new tiered payment scheme sucks). I have emailed my ssw and asked her but I basically got a snotty email back telling me she is extremely busy and hasn't got the time to look into it for me!
well our review is on the 27th of this month, we need to bloody well know don't we? I know we haven't done the keeping children safe online one, but then we didn't know it existed until last week! I emailed the training centre and asked to be put on the next course (next month) only to be told that the next 7 courses are fully booked and so it will be next year before we get to do this. but as I said if its not done we drop down a tier, which i do not think is fair as we did not even know about this course until last week!!!
now for the whinge part! (im aware the last part was also a whinge part),
our ssw told us that foster children can now share a room as long as it is with other foster children and not our own children, that that is the new rule. brilliant I said, that means we can now foster 2 babies then! no she said, you don't have a spare room, so I said no but we have room for 2 cots in our room. my ssw then said no they cannot share a room. now im confused, she literally just told me that foster children can share a room but not with carers own kids. she told us that they could share and then said they couldn't! now my friend who was approved last week, who lives on the same street as me, whose house is identical to mine is size and layout, was told she could have 2 children in her back bedroom and 2 cots in her bedroom!!! if she can why cant I? isn't it supposed to be a blanket approval now? 3 kids aged 0-18 for all carers in east lancs? my friend is approved for sibling groups aged 0-5 and babies aged 0-3. like I said he house is identical to mine with the exception she has a spare room as she only has one child of her own whereas I have 3 of my own. I know this sounds like a 5 year old having a strop but it isn't fair! I am willing and able to love 2 little ones, I have the room, I have the time and the support but my ssw is not allowing it. even at my last review, the reviewing officer said," ooh you could get 2 cots in here, that would be brilliant as we are really struggling for carers just now", she was all for it, as was the reviewing officer at the review before that but everytime I mention it to my ssw she poopoo;s it immediately. is it because she doesn't want the extra work? or is it something with us? who do I talk to about this if my ssw wont listen?
OMG. Your LA is lucky to have any foster carer's, A tiered system ? what the hell is this all about, fostering is a labour of love and dedication which mainly you do not receive a wage for, not a draconion badge of honour dished out by the LA. I am all for training and learning but this is a step too far (just because you foster for a long time and do x amount of courses it does not make you a good foster carer by any stretch of the imagination!!)
I agree with your frustrations and to me this all smacks of the LA making fostering into some sort of "one upmanship club" and making up rules but losing sight of the real issues -namely the children.
Our LA does not operate any of this (it was kicked out before it got started) and should they ever implement such a scheme then I would seriously have to question the whole direction it was taking.