Hi everyone, I am dipping a toe in here as have been considering fostering, and possibly adoption for a while. I do have a DD who is nearly two and my main worry about it is having her affected. I have checked my LA and they don't have the '2yr younger than your existing child' process (IYKWIM) and I am a little concerned about getting an older child with possible emotional issues with my child still too young to understand/defend herself if she needed to. I hope that doesn't make me sound judgy - I just want to make sure I am not going to be putting DD at risk. I will have 2 spare rooms in the house and a garden. Will be learning to drive soon too. However I don't have much family support, and am a LP. I hope that doesn't make much of a difference and may even be helpful if the child had issues with men and hopefully means that there would be less instability in the home (no adults fighting or whatever). I feel I have a lot to offer a child, and would love to help as many as possible. Any advice would be very welcome. I have contacted my LA already and they want to speak to me next, so thought I should get some info from you lot before I go any further!
You are quite right to consider your daughter. Her safety should be your priority. You will probably have to go for a wider age group but make it clear that you will only take children under two. Again, this is a very sensible decision. Your daughter will cope better with younger children. As a lone parent I think you will too. Foster carers do need a lot of support but tend to bond with other carers if there is not a family support. I hope it all works out for you OP. Also, look at independent foster agencies too. They offer more support than LAs
Hi, I mainly take the "cute" babies but trust me they're far from the easy option! Most babies in care these days are drug addicted and I'd think carefully about taking one with a two year old - I have quite a few years experience with them and even I refuse them when I have a toddler in place as well. You can literally be up walking the floor 24 hours a day when they're first placed. You also need to consider that a preschooler could possibly have daily contact with birth parents (and yes, that includes weekends too)
WRT fostering agencies, do your research well (there are a few posts about agencies even on this board). Your LA has to pay much much more to use them and even in a healthy financial climate will only place a child with an agency as a last resort. At the moment I know lots and lots of LA foster carers are without placements so waits will be even longer with an agency. Bear in mind that if you decide to go for under twos you are likely to be asked to give up any other employment.... And it's rare for a baby to be placed with an agency.
Sorry to sound negative. I'm a single carer and love fostering, but would always advise people considering it to think carefully at the moment.
Thanks Scarlet I didn't think that the babies were the easy option at all, just that they are possibly the most requested. You sound like you have had your fair share! Thanks for all of the advice. Think I will apply to TACT as well as the LA and see where we go from there and if it is for me.