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v. nervous today

(11 Posts)
happydaze22 Sun 12-Jun-11 08:49:46

Well we are now the proud carers of a fd and so far all is well with a lo that eats well sleeps well and usually behaves well too. Trouble is this is the day dad would usually see her and app. hes not at all happy that its not happening...and he's got our address. We have to stay in as we have family coming over today but am I nervous or what!!!!....

mumsiepie Sun 12-Jun-11 09:01:53

How come he has your address? That sounds as though sw have no worries about him doing anything but I still think it is not on that he knows where you live and is making you feel nervous. Tbh he would be in so much trouble if he came over and hopefully he knows this.

Hope it goes well. x

happydaze22 Sun 12-Jun-11 10:47:57

Hi mumsiepie,
A letter went out to everyone about the placement meeting which was going to be at my house giving out my address. Ive since asked for it to be somewhere else since finding out dad could be a pain in the past and isnt happy with the contact arrangements at the moment. SW has reassured me probably nothing will happen and I'm sure it wont, but as a newbie to fostering I'll still feel much happier once today is over, lol.

NanaNina Sun 12-Jun-11 14:35:35

Hi happydaze - I wouldn't worry if I were you - I have a lot of experience as a fostering sw and tm mgr (now retired) and I honestly have never known a situation where an angry parent has turned up on the doorstep. I think (quite naturally) that it is something new foster carers are worried about, but rarely happens. Suppose just cus I never heard of it, doesn't mean that it never happends.

Enshrined in the Children Act 1989 is that social workers must work in partnership with their clients (or service users as they are now called) and in this case it is of course the natural parents of the child. I think you will also find that nat parents have the right to know where their child is living, and if necessary be allowed to visit your home, though seldom of them do. Only in the most extreme circumstances (of someone known to be violent - rather than a pain) would the address of the carers be kept from the natural parents. If the LA are in care proceedings, there will be many meetings and after months and months, there will be a final hearing to decide upon the child's future. Natural parents are (quite rightly) represente by lawyers and if the LA had with held the address of the carers for no good reason, the defence lawyers would wipe the floor with them.

Presumably there will be new contact arrangements set up for the nat parents. Usually these contacts take place away from your home. This has been the case for some years now, but back when I started social work in the late 70's contact was always at the home of the foster carers.

Anyway - just relax - there will be plenty more things to worry about now that you are a foster carer, oh and to be glad about too. Foster carers are like gold dust in my opinion and of course there is a national shortage.

scarlet5tyger Sun 12-Jun-11 19:57:14

Unfortunately in my experience my address is given out way too easily to parents of the children I foster. I understand what Nananina is saying about nat parent's rights but all the children I've fostered DO have violent parents (my latest placement was removed from parents under a police protection order) yet my address was on all the placement papers - albeit lined through with a biro!!

I try to put it to the back of my mind and just get on with the day to day problems! And to be honest, you're more likely to get trouble from parents at a contact centre where they have an audience.

mumsiepie Sun 12-Jun-11 22:40:55

NanaNina, thanks I didn't realise that. I just presumed they didn't know my address.

NanaNina Mon 13-Jun-11 00:03:32

Hope the day has ended peacefully hazydays. Scarlet it is by no means unusual for a child to be removed on a PPO, as it is often the most expedient way to remove a child and as the Order only lasts 72 hours, that gives time for the social worker if necessary to make application for an EPO and then interim care orders until the final hearing, unless of course the child is returned home. This doesn't necessarily mean that the parents are more violent than those whose children are removed by social workers after being granted an EPO by a magistrate.

Often a PPO is used when a child is left alone at home and neighbours phone the police. The police will attend and if the child is alone, then they can use their powers under the Police Protection Act to remove a child to safety without having to get a court order.

Obviously natural parents are not going to admit to harming/neglecting their child, and will be angry when they are removed. In my experience this is only ever verbal anger and is usually directed at the social worker. I honestly haver never known a case where a social worker or foster carer has been physically assaulted by a natural parent. In the main these parents (as I'm sure you will know) are often young, emotionally immature, have no family support, have endured abuse/neglect themselves as children and are unable to put the child's needs before their own.

As I said in an earlier post through the 80's and before, all contact used to take place at the home of the foster carer, and only supervised in very extreme circumstances. Many foster carers struggled with this, mainly because the parents turned up late or didn't come at all, or gave the children loads of sweets and were a bit hostile to the carers, but were not violent in any way. Somehow this practice was ended and now most contact is at contact centres. I think this is probably better all round, both for carers and natural parents.

fishtankneedscleaning Mon 13-Jun-11 01:54:34

I had a birth parent turn up at my home for contact, as agreed by SW. Parent was a known crack cocaine user. She sat in a chair looking bored when LO was desperately trying to engage with her.

LO asked me if she could help make a sandwich for her mum for lunch. As I cut some bread for LO to fill, birth mother stormed into the kitchen and attacked me with a knife. I still have the scars on my cheek and hand.

On another occasion I had a 6 month old FC. Birth mum accompanied me to a health appointment, where the Health Visitor confirmed my address in the prescence of birth mother. My own daughter was confronted by LO's birth father later that evening and every evening throughout the week. He stood outside our home and intimidated my dd and myself every day. He threateded my, then, 14 year old dd with violence. It was necessary for FC to move to another foster placement because of the actions of his birth father.

Thank Goodness for contact centres. After these experiences there is no way I would again agree for contact to take place in my home. Home being where myself, DH, birth children, adopted children and Foster children should feel safe.

scarlet5tyger Mon 13-Jun-11 11:16:01

I agree with Fishtank. Current placement's parents have been violent towards him for all his short life. When he was removed they were trying to kill him. Yet they still have contact (and my address!)

I've also had contact with other parents at health appointments where parents have been violent - not towards me but towards the medical staff. They also knew my address.

I think sometimes SW are so used to being on the receiving end of parent's tempers that they forget that foster carers most definitely are not.

maypole1 Mon 13-Jun-11 15:01:33

The first child we had I made the mistake of allowing the parents pick up from my home.

On this evening on question my oh was working nights and I noticed a car parked out side couple of hours later it was still their when I looked closely it was fc dad sitting in the car with half the family, I was really scared and had top ring the police.

Also a couple of weeks back mum had bottom hold o my full details birthday everything when they sent lack review form to her by mistake gurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr she then promptly tried to contact me on facebook and also had used my details pretend to be me in order to find out things from the fostering team

happydaze22 Mon 13-Jun-11 16:40:21

Hi All nothing happened. Looks like theres quite a debate going on about addresses though. Its quite scary reading what has happened to some of you.
I can underrstand why birth parents have our addresses as its to do with their human rights I think but to be honest I tend to worry that sometimes it might not be doing any favours to us fc's to give it out. Especially after reading some of youre comments, shock. Thanks for all of your concerns though, its nice to have the supportsmile

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