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Starting to wonder if la is the right way to go?

(18 Posts)
Higgyboo Thu 14-Jul-16 20:44:22

We have been making the first steps towards fostering and I don't want anyone to think we are doing this for the money, as we are planning to go with the la. But starting to think we could quite possibly end up out of pocket. Our la pay approx £120 per child, out of that we would be expected to pay pocket money (no matter what age) travel costs to schools which could be miles away, school dinner money (£15pw usually) shoes, clothes, out of school activities (which have to be promoted by foster carers!) plus normal living costs. Buy one pair of kids shoes and £30-40 gone in one fell swoop.
We haven't got a spare bedroom but with a partition wall can have one quite easily and will be a nice size, we can't start the process until we have a room but if we aren't assessed we don't need a room. It's a chicken and egg scenario.
We don't want to do this for the money but I can't afford for it to cost me Either.

Bd27 Fri 15-Jul-16 11:38:04

Are you sure that you only get £120. We are with la and get £120 pw fees payment and an allowances payment for expenses which varies depending on the age of the child

Higgyboo Fri 15-Jul-16 11:54:06

Yes on tier 1, the documentation says some fc can start on tier two dependant on experience- I am a health visitor with a paediatric nursing background so would think that should warrant consideration but handbook says all fc start on tier 1 so that's £120pw! The la do not have a great reputation and I can see why, they seem to expect an awful lot from fc! Have also made contact with neighbouring la too, and can't go with most agencies as I work three days,

Bd27 Fri 15-Jul-16 12:22:29

We are new carers with limited child care experience (not as much as yourself and no bc) we started on level 2. Has your la confirmed you would definitely start on l1

Higgyboo Fri 15-Jul-16 12:42:39

No I am waiting for our home visit but speaking to others it seems everyone goes on at level1

motherchuckinhen16 Fri 15-Jul-16 13:02:39

I am a foster carer for our LA we started on level 2 and within a year we are on level 3. As foster children can be very challenging and do need a lot of support and may come to you with very little in the way of clothes shoes etc you really need to start at level 2 as a minimum. if they are school aged children they may end up being not at school for a lot of different reasons some or all of the time. Don't get in a situation where you are out of pocket and can't afford to get essential things the children need and feel like the LA are taking advantage of you. Our LA are good as LAs go but if your LA are trying to get you to do a very difficult and challenging job with just £120 a week to me this would just not be viable. Have you looked at Agencys?

Higgyboo Fri 15-Jul-16 13:20:00

Yes looked at agencies, but most need me to give up work and it's too risky incase we didn't have a child placed with us, and then I haven't got my wage, also I have a 13 yr old son and 2 yr old daughter so concerned they may only have older troubled children which may not be suitable with a little one! I know most foster children w will have issues.

motherchuckinhen16 Fri 15-Jul-16 21:47:37

It's a tricky one. If you want to foster babies I think go with LA, then you won't need an extra bedroom as they can sleep in your bedroom til 2 years old and its unlikely that you will go for long without a placement.

Higgyboo Fri 15-Jul-16 22:12:00

And they drive me mad they don't ever answer the phone or ring you back to answer my questions, I am going to push for tier two, I don't think that's unreasonable with my relevant experience.
Is that usually across the board with la- that under twos can stay in my bedroom?

motherchuckinhen16 Sat 16-Jul-16 20:21:13

That is normal for an LA. The cogs turn very slowly and you have to push for everything. I would check with your LA but I think that is generally the rule, also that the foster child has to be 2 years younger than your youngest bio or adopted child.

YorkshireMansWife Mon 18-Jul-16 15:06:36

Higgy - The LA we have chatted about will not assess you without a spare room even if your preference is under 2's.
Their reasoning for this is that the child may go from task centered to long term and would then need an uneccessary move as your wouldn't be able to go long term and also if assessments etc took longer than anticipated and in the meantime the child turned 2 , again they would need an uneccessary move. This is something they have only just changed.

Higgyboo Mon 18-Jul-16 15:28:57

I don't especially want under twos and I can have a room in a day (family can put up partition wall easily) but I don't want to make a room if I won't be assessed or if I change my mind, so I want to have a meeting with sw to discuss before doing work if you get me?? And I could ask them this if they ever answered the bloody phone or returned messages argh!!!!

YorkshireMansWife Mon 18-Jul-16 15:36:27

Aye, they are known for taking a while to get back to people.
You wouldn't think they where desperate for carers the way they carry on.

Higgyboo Mon 18-Jul-16 15:55:43

I know and they wonder why people go with agencies, they answer and reply immediately!! They are driving me mad

Twopots Tue 19-Jul-16 17:30:31

We started on similar money, it went up within the year but we had a year of being severely out of pocket, mostly because I wanted them to go to clubs, have a wardobe of nice clothes etc Im lucky that we didn't need the money but really don't think we could foster as a career with just one foster child

bexollie Fri 18-Nov-16 13:18:53

Maybe have a think about what you would get if you were living on state benefits for one child It's not anywhere near one hundred pounds a week it's more like 20 pounds child benefit then about forty for a child premium.
Kids don't need amazing clothes and they could have a packed lunch for school they don't need too many clubs and entertainment either as they can get over stimulated. Kids need time an d patience not lots of money spent on them .

Shockers Fri 18-Nov-16 13:24:23

Wouldn't the children be entitled to free school meals?

fasparent Sat 19-Nov-16 23:04:41

Not entitled too school meals, Been fostering for many years all children have different need's , many have incredible talents, have experienced children exceeding in many area's, some at national level representing their country, So think this answer's lots about expense. Kit , gear, travel, hotels,
equipment., Being normal on a level playing field is best, many areas SS
often do not budget for, inclusion in all areas where possible and lots of love and understanding.
LA of IFA think most of us would be out of pocket in the long term, Kids are expensive in care or out care, all have different needs and requirements.

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