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Emotions running high - advice please(5 Posts)
I Could really do with your advice please. Just to fill you in we have 2 AS's and our youngest's birth mum had a baby back in the Autumn. We have known since lo in utero and have been in contact with our own LA but birth mum under a different neighbouring LA. We have expressed an interest in adopting LO and through foster to adopt like our youngest if adoption was the plan. Birth mum has a learning disability so we didn't anticipate her ability to parent changing sadly but we found out that she would be doing another parenting assessment. We have been trying to find out info for months but due to data protection have had very little info. However we were told prior to the birth that things were already not looking good and that we would most likely have to start adoption process as matter of urgency. Nothing happened and we were given no info and our own LA said they had to wait for go ahead from other LA to start our process. Just before Christmas our LA agreed to start our process but still couldn't give any info on sibling other than birth mum was sadly seen to be unable to parent but further assessments on birth family were being carried out. Now we have just found out that the other LA do want to consider us for sibling and that all assessment's have been completed for sibling's case, a final court hearing is booked and baby has gone into foster care. I am feeling so cross and upset that we were not approved earlier and not in a position for baby to come to us on foster to adopt and instead in foster care. We have been given a date in March for approval but no talk of plans further than that like whether we can then do foster to adopt to speed up placement of sibling with us. Shouldn't all this be being discussed and planned?. Why weren't we approved so that baby could have been placed with us rather than going into foster care. I thought foster to adopt and placing as soon as possible was meant to be the way forward, less moves for baby and less traumatic. The question is should we be taking this further and going higher with a complaint or do we have to just go with what our social worker says? I don't want us to be seen as difficult and affect our approval process but we also feel this all doesn't seem right. Thanks everyone :O)
That's awful Nosey and clearly not in the best interests of the lo. I don't know much about the FTA system as our adoption was done via a different route but this sounds like the local authority the BM is living in have dragged their feet. Perhaps the difficulties stem from the local authority responsible for the BM and lo being different to the one you are living in. This is not an excuse as lo's needs should determine all of the planning but sadly we know this doesn't happen.
I'm very sad to hear you've had to sit around waiting all this time. It must' be hugely stressful. I wouldn't be going down the complaint route at this point (although you'd be fully entitled to) because you need to save all your energy and prepare for a possible new baby being placed with you and supporting your other children in managing the changes this will bring. But I'd seriously consider making a complaint after the lo is placed with you if that is what happens.
Wish I could give better support, my thoughts are with you.
Thank you for your reply, your right it's not the time to complain. We have had time to mull things over, we still feel strongly that they are in the wrong and someone definitely dragged their feet and not put baby first but we have to concentrate on getting approved and push for foster to adopt from approval otherwise there will be more delays whilst we wait for matching panel etc. I wondered whether we might be able to meet baby prior to approval, has anyone else been in this position and been able to meet baby? Regardless of panel decision our youngest is his sibling so a part of his life.
I would like to be able to say I am shocked by your story, but sadly I'm not, but I am angry on your behalf. I am an LA foster carer and have lots of stories of the "no sense of urgency" approach to moving children on to permanence. Frustratingly it's often difficult to know who or what specifically is causing the delay, eg is it an individual SW at fault or are they working under very fixed rules which can't be broken, so you don't know who to feel cross with!
Your story has some similarities with that of my last foster child though that wasn't fta but moving on to live with extended family members under a SGO. They knew about her from when she was about 10 weeks old and would have been able and willing to have her immediately along with her older sister who was with a different foster carer. It was even worse that the older sister spent so long with fc as the family members already knew her. The two girls are now happily together and settled with these family members I should add.
Regarding your specific question about getting to meet the baby I imagine the ball is in the court of his SW, whom you may not have had contact with yet? Is it the same SW as your younger AC? Did you have a good rapport with them if so? Would you feel able to ring them directly and ask? Don't feel you need to answer those questions here of course. If I was the FC in that situation I would welcome a meeting between the baby and his future parents.
Something which our foster baby's SW engineered which I thought was lovely was when I was in SS building for a meeting and had the baby with me and unknown to me the family members were also in the building at the same time for another meeting. At the end of my meeting the SW asked me to stay behind then went and fetched them and they came in and saw the baby very briefly before I left. She was about 12 weeks old then although it was another few months before she went to live with them.
I wish you all the best.
Thanks so much for your reply Ilikethedaffodils. It's interesting to hear thoughts from your side of the process as a foster carer. Sibling is under a different LA to our son, he was with our assessing LA so we don't know anyone or have a contact to call regarding meeting baby sadly but I think it's worth putting it out there and seeing what they say. Also we have a new SW as ours retired so she doesn't know us at all which I think doesn't help things at all. She is being very cautious wanting to ensure we can meet the needs of another little one which is of course understandable. I just know that our previous SW would have done all she could to help us going above and beyond and would have fully supported us. All very frustrating and finding it hard all this uncertainty and time we have to wait until panel. Thanks again.
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