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Forced to spend money- help!!!!

(13 Posts)
tunecedemalis Tue 12-Jul-11 19:00:03

Hi All,
now i know when I lots of you will think I'm being a bit daft but bear with me! My link worker is kind of obsessed that i buy new beds and new furniture for foster kids- to be fair she has offered that SS will repay the cost up to a certain amount. Now this is mainly due to her personal taste- she's really nice but she likes modern furniture- my house is quite old and i like old antique stuff. I have sufficient beds and furniture- all safe, neat and tidy undamaged, child safe paint etc etc- but it's not brand new. To be honest we really can't afford to buy loads of furniture up front anyway plus the amount SS is able to offer will only cover cheap poor quality furniture I know won't last. We have new mattresses but surely she doesn't expect us to buy a new mattress with each kid? Plus my own kids don't have brand new furniture in their rooms- it's older stuff I've done up with child safe paint in bright colours. None of the SW associated with our last fc had any problems with the furniture or the bedroom (which i have paid to have decorated because of LW insistance)- the current FC SW is similarly perfectly happy. How on earth do i broach this?

maypole1 Tue 12-Jul-11 20:09:35

Please ring fostering network they can give you your rights on the matter but i nit sure are you a new carer because if your not then why has she nor raised this before and if your new then they may feel what you have is not suitable and all you can do is note down you don't feel what they want will last and if it breaks ask them to cover the cost of new stuff as you warned them.

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 12-Jul-11 20:13:53

I had to buy all my own furniture for fostering- we didn't get any help at all from the council, even though I asked. The positive side of this was they didn't comment at all on what we bought. I would have thought if it was clean and safe it should be fine.

thisisyesterday Tue 12-Jul-11 20:16:28

this is insane!

i know nothing about fostering, just saw this in active convos, but presumably to be approved as a foster carer your house has to be looked at? if, when they looked at it they found it to be fine and thus allow you to foster children I really, really, really don't think that anyone can turn round now and insist you have new furniture

i would tell her politely that you will not be buying anything new, that the furniture you have is adequate and that you have nowhere to store it were you to buy new furniture,

if she feels it is imperative that the furniture be brand new (which it won't be by the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th FC!) then she buy it and get reimbursed herself and you'll be happy to use it.

you can point out that it has not been an issue up to now, and in your opinion it still is not an issue unless she makes it one

tunecedemalis Tue 12-Jul-11 20:19:33

Hi Maypole- thank you I'll try that- I had a reg 38 placement before that wasn't really reg 38 so they converted us to general foster carers. She has made us take down our greenhouse (fair enough), paint the bedroom (done and dusted) and wants us to replace our windows (because they are old) but we have had to refuse for cost reasons- despite this we were approved by panel no problems six months ago. The thing is there's nowhere to store beds we currently have and i cannot afford to buy new furniture- will take 6-8 weeks to get money back. There is absolutely no room in fc bedroom for type of furniture she wants! I think it really is personal taste as we've had four other SW through house with no problems at all. I'm kinda wondering if she wants to makeover my house!

hugglymugly Tue 12-Jul-11 20:20:18

I know nothing about fostering other than what I've learned here from occasionally reading topics. But not only have I never read anything like this, I can't even imagine the reasonings behind that woman's thinking - unless she has so little knowledge of furniture that she thinks anything more than a few years old presents some kind of hazard. She does sound rather strange.

Maybe you could ask her to put her concerns in writing so you can address each point, and if she won't do that, is there someone higher you can take this issue to? Given the desparate need for foster carers, focussing on furniture and decorating because of style seems bizarre.

Or maybe ask her how she thinks children cope with staying at Disneyworld hotels. I'm pretty sure that they don't provide new furniture and mattresses for each new guest. wink

thisisyesterday Tue 12-Jul-11 20:21:03

she made you take down the greenhouse???? and tried to get you to replace your windows???

seriously she is having a laugh isn't she?? i would just say no!

tunecedemalis Tue 12-Jul-11 21:19:14

Thanks for your comments- you made me smile which is brilliant cos I was getting a bit stressy about it. One of the beds is an Ikea kids one less than 12 months old - the others are older but sturdy and tidy. I'm not sure if she's trying to be nice (ie buy all this new stuff on us) or insulting! I looked at the list of approved providers and the stock codes did not fill me with hope. I'm gonna ring fostering network tomorrow- and yes we had to dismantle an enormous greenhouse piece by piece!

mumsiepie Wed 13-Jul-11 08:14:05

Stick to your guns.....she is way out of order. xxx

bottersnike Wed 13-Jul-11 13:12:10

We had to dismantle our greenhouse too, despite all the raised brick flower beds which to my mind are equally "dangerous".
If your SW wants you to buy new furniture she has to justify this in terms of the risk that your current furniture presents. If there is no justifiable risk then stick with what you've got!
Hope you get it sorted out.

Juey1 Thu 14-Jul-11 08:31:18

I would stick to your guns hun- she sounds like a jobsworth. I know there are differing criterias and questions that need to be addresses (during assesment we were asked if we had access to open water- pond etc- we live on the beach facing the north sea!!!! I just looked out the window at the sea and laughed :-) ) I would ask to see her boss who I presume will be the same person that was in post when you had your other sw- ask her why do you need new furniture when it was perfectly acceptable before. Is this sw new- maybe she just going along a tick box. Hope you get it sorted hun xx

scarlet5tyger Fri 15-Jul-11 21:14:09

What age group do you foster? I do buy new mattresses for each child, but I take in babies and feel it's safer.

I have experience of getting things bought by SS but they've always been so cheap and (IMO) unsafe that I usually ended up replacing them myself anyway! These days my LA won't pay for ANYTHING without a fight either, I think in the last few months I've paid out more than I've 'earnt'...

NanaNina Sat 16-Jul-11 19:46:02

I think you lw is being ridiculous. I was a sw and tm mgr in fostering & adoption for 30 years (now retired) the deal in our LA was that carers were allowed money to buy beds, bedding, furtniture, in line with their tastes not the link worker's tastes. I never heard of such a thing. Most carers were happy with Mothercare range or Ikea which was not a problem.

It is true that Health & Safety Regs for Fostering get more and more comprehensive. However this lw is not being reasonable and I think you should tell him/her that you are concerned about her reasons for wanting you to buy new beds etc. I would ask for a meeting with her manager and point out that you do not see the need for the lw's requests. I think she is out of order to be honest and it is nothing to do with her taste, it is to do with health and safety. I would ask the lw and or manager to explain to you exactly why your current arrangements don't meet the health and safety needs of the LA.

If they continue to be unreasonable ask for a copy of their complaints procedure and proceed with an official complaint.

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