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Is a child a placement?

(9 Posts)
JacobMalloy02 Wed 15-Jul-15 16:49:49

Just a thought about terminology - we do not refer to children as placements. Whilst we may use the term placement to describe where the child lives, it seems that many refer this to the young person.

I know it’s only terminology, but we should respect that a child is a child first and not a placement.

This is common practice amongst social workers and foster carers and I wondered whether we should be re-thinking how we refer to children and put them at the centre of our thinking.

Any thoughts?

SantaLucia91 Wed 15-Jul-15 18:23:22

I agree with you that it's not a good way to refer to a child or young person, but I don't remember hearing this usage much either in real life or on here.

In a similar vein I used to work on a children's ward and one of my colleagues used to refer to children as "Bed 2" etc as in "Has Bed 2 had her physio yet?" or "Bed 4's going home after dinner." Drove me mad.

Cassimin Wed 15-Jul-15 18:35:08

Sorry if that came over that I would call a child a placement. I understand that a placement means the length of time the child stays.
Eg emergency placement means a few nights.
A short term placement can last for years.
Long term placement means maybe forever.
I have never heard anyone refer to a child as a placement

scarlet5tyger Wed 15-Jul-15 20:41:40

I do sometimes refer to the children I'm caring for as placements on fostering forums. So do a lot of the other carers. So do the SW and SSWs I deal with daily.

I think it stems from being told so often that they're NOT "your" children, and that everything to do with them has to remain so confidential, that it becomes easier on public forums to keep things as vague as possible.

Of course, in real life they're simply Annie and Fred.

scarlet5tyger Wed 15-Jul-15 20:43:29

Also wanted to add that it doesn't help that "official" terminology changes so often. In the time I've been fostering children have been referred to as Foster Children - supposedly no longer used - then Looked After Children, and now Child in Care.

MayoforSam Thu 16-Jul-15 23:25:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fasparent Fri 17-Jul-15 03:31:26

Years ago suggested too SS Spector , term Foster Child was out dated, they changed it too looked after child, was a waste of time its now LAC this and LAC that. Rather than leaving it untitled as they should have. Such as child needs a review/medical, not a LAC Review. LAC Medical.

JacobMalloy02 Fri 17-Jul-15 13:44:19

Language has always been an issue working in this field of work. So many changes, it's hard to keep up. Thanks for everyone's input - good to keep children at the centre of our thinking.

SantaLucia91 Sat 18-Jul-15 00:02:34

On another forum someone kept referring to a lack review. Made me wonder if they even knew LAC was an acronym. And what particular lacks were being discussed! But most likely I'm over thinking it and it was just the auto correct to blame. I was an English teacher in a former life and do find anything to do with language fascinating.

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