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to be pissed of with the incompetence of my LA with regards foster kids and panto tickets

(51 Posts)
elfish Tue 29-Dec-15 22:48:35

Our LA gave out free pantomime tickets for local kids in care, it was even plugged on the radio that these kids would get an extra christmas present this year.
Lovely gesture, my foster kids were very excited so i duly applied.
Got my tickets today and they are for a matinee performance when the kids are at school.
I called to ask if they could swap the tickets to an evening performance or give permission for the kids to be taken out of school. The answer to both - NO. I cannot swap and cannot under any circumstances take them out of school.
So i have tickets here that cannot be used and some pretty upset children.
Surely they could have sorted evening tickets for the school aged kids, surely they know kids go to school!
I just cannot get my head round their poor management skills.

TracyBarlow Tue 29-Dec-15 22:53:13

Sad face, local paper (not the kids obvs, as they're in care, but you) you should sort it.

OwlinaTree Tue 29-Dec-15 22:55:52

That is ridiculous, they've obviously tried to do it on the cheap. Poor you and the kids. Is it worth contacting the theatre?

WorraLiberty Tue 29-Dec-15 22:56:51

That's ridiculous, YANBU!

I agree. Get in touch with your local paper.

MissingPanda Tue 29-Dec-15 22:58:56

YANBU I'd contact the radio station they were plugged on too.

manicinsomniac Tue 29-Dec-15 22:59:44

That's appalling.

If I were you, the children would be 'sick' that afternoon. They'll lose out more by missing this much looked forward to treat and experience than one day of school.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 29-Dec-15 23:01:57

Manic - foster carers can't get away with that sort of thing. They can't tell the kids to keep it from their social workers and they would be seriously bollocked if they did.
IMO your LA needs to stump up for useable tickets pronto

elfish Tue 29-Dec-15 23:05:11

wish i could contact paper or even radio but i'd be in big trouble if I did, no free speech allowed, we are not even allowed to identify ourselves as foster carers. Hope i don't get recognised on here.

The thing is the department have not paid for the tickets so some kindly fund raising community group has organised this for the looked after children and due to the incompetence of the admin and management it has gone tits up.

You can bet its more than just me with tickets they can't use, there will be some carers with under fives who have evening performance tickets as well as those like me with afternoon tickets for school aged kids.

Why couldn't they look at who we had in placement when sending out the tickets, or is that too much to ask?

thelaundryfairy Tue 29-Dec-15 23:07:19

Agree with the suggestions to contact the radio station and the theatre.

throwingpebbles Tue 29-Dec-15 23:11:44

Yanbu. How terrible. What an absolute hopeless bit of planning!!!

I would contact someone fairly senior in the relevant organisation or a local politician or similar. They can normally ruffle some feathers!!!

nancy75 Tue 29-Dec-15 23:14:53

What about calling the theatre and explaining the situation? Pantos tend to be quieter by the time the kids go back to school, if they have empty seats they might swap them for you

chillycurtains Tue 29-Dec-15 23:15:39

Definitely a phone call or letter to the theatre. They must have spare seats on an evening performance.

MidniteScribbler Tue 29-Dec-15 23:17:26

Can you call the group who organised it? There may be a family with younger children that wants to swap for an evening show with you?

bunique Tue 29-Dec-15 23:18:43

Make use of the complaints process elfish! Wouldn't surprise me if the senior managers for LAC aren't aware that it's being handled so badly and will resolve sharpish.

elfish Tue 29-Dec-15 23:20:29

l will contact the theatre tomorrow, I have to go into town so will go in person to see if they can swap them.
If they can't i will just have to shell out the £150 to buy some and give these ones away, maybe an old folks home can use them.

bunique Tue 29-Dec-15 23:24:02

This isn't your problem to resolve! They authority have fucked up and should be putting it right. I am almost certain my LA would do so in response to a complaint. It can usually be fired off online. When are the tickets for?

tethersend Tue 29-Dec-15 23:28:16

Call the virtual head tomorrow and explain that the theatre expect LAC to miss valuable school time in order to take up their offer. I'm certain that they will challenge this.

elfish Tue 29-Dec-15 23:29:29

I feel very undervalued and unsupported as a carer at the moment, I have had a few run ins with the dept so don't feel able to raise my head above the parapet at the moment to make a complaint.

It is my social worker who has refused permission to take them out of school, so i really don't think a complaint will help.

Hopefully the theatre can swap them, in my rage i don't think of that.

middleeasternpromise Tue 29-Dec-15 23:30:36

This sounds like a case of too many cooks - so you have a charity doing some fundraising for LAC using the money to buy Panto tickets from a local theatre and then passing them to the LA to distribute to the carers of said children? Who did the buying who did the allocating? You need to know that before you go off screaming incompetence and gagging orders.

Either way a polite letter to your senior manager to explain that having been 'promised' these tickets and the local media 'highlighting' the good works of all involved, your charges were and are very excited to be going. No tickets would have been better than redundant tickets - can this please be rectified?

Our local theatre automatically issues a quota of tickets to LAC; disability groups and a few other assorted groups. They do hand out the matinee tickets rather than the premium evening ones but to my knowledge they make sure its in school hols (I've never heard of people being given tickets for children during school time!) this sounds like a big old mistake.

Do you have a foster care association who can take the matter up rather than just you as it sounds bigger than the one case? LAs are very busy with more than just social bits so I'm afraid this is never their forte that's why I really like a good responsible FCA to be trusted to manage things like this they do it far better than some hard pushed admin staff who probably don't know the children or carers well or even a SW who is on duty trying to manage a host of things and sending out panto tickets!!!

BackInTheRealWorld Tue 29-Dec-15 23:32:27

Can't you just buy some tickets? You get paid a lot of money as a foster carer. Donate the ones you can't use to some equally deserving cause.

BearPursuedByAnExit Tue 29-Dec-15 23:36:53


Mmmmcake123 Tue 29-Dec-15 23:37:07

Have you thought about asking the school how they feel about it? Schools organise educational visits all the time and a trip to the theatre, panto or not, could come under this. I realise they would be missing school when others in the class are not but allowances can be made for lac. If the school approved then the sw may feel differently.

YeOldeTrout Tue 29-Dec-15 23:39:56

She said tickets would be £150, BackIRW. I dunno, that's a lotta money. I can't imagine paying myself.

Panto performances when school is on? I thought that didn't even happen any more. Who the hell goes to a matinee performance of panto if not kids??

DancingDinosaur Tue 29-Dec-15 23:41:02

Can't you just buy some tickets? You get paid a lot of money as a foster carer.
I don't think thats true hmm And £150 is a lot for many people to stump up. Maybe you'd like to donate?

elfish Tue 29-Dec-15 23:41:21

you have missed the point BackInTheRealWorld, yes i could buy tickets (and prob will do) but we were promised these and I am cross about the mis allocation, it just smacks of incompetence and unfortunately there are many more examples to back this option up.
It is also a waste of money and resources as these tickets won't be used for what they were intended.

And if you think we get paid a lot of money, when fostering for a local authority we really really don't, foster carers sub the kids care all the time.

Thanks Middleeast that is good idea about the polite letter, i will do that too.

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