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Nanny becoming foster carer - can it work?

(52 Posts)
LittleMumSmall Thu 11-Nov-10 10:51:53

We engaged a nanny end of Sept to look after DS (just turned 1) two days a week 9-5. She's really lovely and mumsy and DS loves her and she's super-reliable and friendly.

She told me this week that she is about to be interviewed to be a foster carer, which I assumed meant that she would be unable to look after our son any more, but she seems to think it won't cause any problems as she will be looking after children aged 3+.

I am a bit unsure about this situation. Firstly, I am currently paying for one-to-one care for DS and this won't be guaranteed in future. Secondly, I'm not sure about having her foster child/children around in our house, although she seems to think it will be nice for DS to have someone else to play with.

However, she is great and DS loves her - so should we continue to employ her? Should I be paying her less in light of the planned changes? Is it even permitted for her to care for children in my home, given that we have not been vetted by authorities etc? I'm currently 16 weeks PG and not quite sure I trust myself to make a good decision - WWYD? Thanks for advice x

nannynick Thu 11-Nov-10 11:35:29

Have you read any books by Cathy Glass? She is a foster carer and writes about her experiences.

I don't think you can childmind and foster - so if that is still the case then nannying and fostering wouldn't work either. It's things like case conferences, training, the amount of involvement with fostered children which means that the foster carer can do nothing else.
I don't know for sure - your nanny should be able to find out more from the fostering course they are doing.

Rebeccash Thu 11-Nov-10 13:41:03

You can childmind and foster

pleasechange Thu 11-Nov-10 13:44:37

I would be very wary indeed

PinkCanary Thu 11-Nov-10 13:53:59

I'm a Childminder and currently going through the process of applying to be a Foster carer. It is no mean feat!!! The process will take about 6 months, and presently only 1 in 10 people make it through to approval.

I'm quietly confident that my Childcare experience and qualifications will benefit foster children, and that my older mindees will be very supportive to any foster children that come into my home. However, I think it's very unlikely any LA / foster agency would approve a carer who was based outside their own home. Suspect it would be deemed as an unstable environment tow vulnerable child.

Ladymuck Thu 11-Nov-10 14:01:36

All the foster carers that I know of are involved in case conferences and supervised access with parents (often having to travel some distance). I'd be surprised that that would work with a nanny also looking after your children. Equally there is usually some disruption when a new child is placed with a foster carer, and I think that there is a significant difference between having a nanny bringing their own child (who will remain as a stable influence in your child's life) as opposed to bringing a number of other children, often with difficulties, into your child's life for an indetermined number of weeks/months/years. SS will be keeping an eye out for your nanny and her family, but who would be keeping an eye out for you and yours?

Of course, she may not even get approved, so it is too early to do anything yet,but if the topic comes up again, I would make it clear that you would be looking for someone to be solely looking after your children.

frakkinup Thu 11-Nov-10 14:04:54

You're entirely within your rights to say you pay for and expect sole care. I doubt it would be permitted and I'm not sure I'd be happy with the situation even if it were.

StillSquiffy Thu 11-Nov-10 14:13:53

It isn't a question of whether she thinks it will be nice for your DS - it is entirely about what you want. You are at liberty to either say no, you want sole care nannying, or to say yes but that you will need to reduce salary (maybe 20-25%).

If it was me I would wait and see if it happens and then decide what to do. May come to nothing.

pleasechange Thu 11-Nov-10 14:28:39

I think ladymuch talks a lot of sense. The situation could be fairly disruptive for numerous reasons and sadly, foster children frequently come with very many problems. The foster parent has had the benefit of thinking this through and making sure they're happy it will work for their family, but there is no reason for your nanny to assume it will work for you and your family as well. There could be all sorts of consequences which cannot be predicted at the outset. Best to avoid I think

LoopyLoops Thu 11-Nov-10 14:33:00

I'm confused. Before I comment further, could you tell me if she is living in your home?

LoopyLoops Thu 11-Nov-10 14:40:24

No, hold on, I just read your post again. She only works two days a week.

Many foster parents have jobs, often full-time. I don't understand how this will have an implication on your family at all, unless she wants to pick up her foster child from school then take her to yours for the rest of the day? In this case, I think it would be reasonable for you to either pay her less for those hours, or ask her to find alternative childcare for her own foster child.
What is not reasonable is the assumption that foster children will have a negative effect on her work or on your family. Not all children in care are "difficult" and the result might be very beneficial for your child.
Regarding having to attend case conferences etc. yes, she will, as would any other foster carer who works. I don't see why nannying should be treated differently from any other job.
I think you perhaps should examine your reasons for having an adverse reaction before you talk to her. I also think those who posted saying "no way" should have a good think about why, because this negative reaction seems totally bizarre to me.

pleasechange Thu 11-Nov-10 15:14:55

Loopy the OP has said the nanny said the children would be 3+, so by definition the child would be with her pretty much fully time. Hardly the same as any other job to bring a 3yo to work with you

LoopyLoops Thu 11-Nov-10 15:17:33

3+ doesn't mean 3. That means no younger than 3. In all likelihood, a 3 year old won't be placed with someone who is working.

LoopyLoops Thu 11-Nov-10 15:21:23

And is very unlikely to be placed with someone who would expect to take them to work. I very much doubt that nannying insurance will cover accidents to the foster child while at work, plus other implications regarding safety in employer's house.

pleasechange Thu 11-Nov-10 15:28:37

regardless, though, the child won't start school until age 4 or 5, and even then the nanny will have the foster child in her charge while minding the OP's child. Again, this isn't the case for a normal job

nannynick Thu 11-Nov-10 15:31:23

Nannying isn't the same as other jobs - much harder to get a day off / few hours off to attend a case conference, or take a fostered child to their contact session.

Is anyone on here a Childminder and Fosters as well. I imagine it is more possible these days though I expect there are some issues - what problems have you encountered, how were they resolved?

LoopyLoops Thu 11-Nov-10 15:35:11

Surely that depends on which job you are comparing it to? A lot of jobs are difficult to get time off, this doesn't mean that people in those jobs should be discouraged from fostering.

How would OP/others feel if the nanny said she were pregnant, or got custody of her own child when ex had previously had it? Would your feelings be the same?

pleasechange Thu 11-Nov-10 15:43:49

looking after your own child is very very very different from looking after a foster child. For a start, a foster child almost always comes from a difficult background, which increases the likelihood of difficulties/disruption by a great degree. I do no wish in any way to tarnish foster children in general, but in response to the OP directly, I have said I would be wary for these reasons

LoopyLoops Thu 11-Nov-10 15:49:14

You are tarnishing foster children generally, and it is very sad.

No wonder children in care have limited chances of succeeding in life if they are seen to be a risk without any basic knowledge of their personalities.

pleasechange Thu 11-Nov-10 15:53:18

I'm not calling them a risk. I'm answering the OP's request for opinions (which you are free to do as well, rather than argue with mine). Personally I have experience which has led to my advise to be wary. The OP's child will be sending considerable time in close proximity with the nanny's foster child, and so she has the right to question whether or not she is happy with this.

pleasechange Thu 11-Nov-10 15:56:07

A lovely foster child with a very pleasant personality set fire to my neighbour's house at the age of 7. A friend was unfortunate enough to have a foster child sexually abuse her GC in her own home. I could go on. I'm of course obviously not saying all foster children have such issues, but the OP is entitled to question whether or not she wishes to continue with the nanny if she fosters and brings the child to work.

LoopyLoops Thu 11-Nov-10 15:57:58

I also have considerable experience. I was fostered. Never was I difficult or dangerous, but parents of PFBS were always wary of their children spending time with me purely because they thought that I must be trouble by nature of my care order.

OP, I really think you should wait and see a) if the nanny gets approved, b) the age of child placed (I really think 5+ is most likely) and c) what that child is like before you take away your nanny's job.

LoopyLoops Thu 11-Nov-10 15:59:39

allnew, are all non-fostered children angels? Do these kinds of awful event only happen to children with disrupted home lives?

You sound lovely. hmm

pleasechange Thu 11-Nov-10 16:02:30

Loopy the OP asked for opinions. I gave mine. I have no wish to argue with you, thanks

PinkCanary Thu 11-Nov-10 16:26:29

Becoming a foster carer is full of contradictions. On the one hand agencies state that foster care is a full time job and they expect the primary carer (in the case of couples) to not work at all. On the other hand LA's state that they want a child to enter into a normal home environment, and make extensive checks to ascertain that the carer isn't doing it for the money. Whichever way you go about it using formal Childcare while you work is frowned upon.

And ANY person who might have unsupervised access needs to have a CRB first. We will have to get all our grandparent babysitters CRB'd before we get a foster child

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