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Anyone combined childminding with foster care?(13 Posts)
It seems that everything is going against me at the moment.
I recently made an enquiry to foster with my LA. I had a long conversation with a SW who sent me further information. TBH the information she sent out was pretty basic and didn't really tell me very much. In one of the leaflets she'd sent, there was a form to sign and send back if I wanted to continue with the application, which I signed and returned.
I've just had a call from another SW to arrange a visit but she didn't seem all that enthusiastic when she was talking about me being a CMer or the fact that I am a single carer.
I'm worried now that the combination of me being a cm and single is going to be too much and they'll not let me proceed.
I have recently met 3 CM/FC so I know it's allowed but maybe the fact that I'm single is going to cause the extra complication that'll make it impossible for me to foster aswell.
Can anyone suggest how I turn my CM business into a positive in terms of fostering?
I am useless when it comes to selling myself. I get all tongue-tied and come out with a whole load of irrelevant rambling .
SW said that I'd need to be available to take FC to meetings/comtact etc, which I appreciate but would I be expected to fit around everyone else or would I be a part of setting times/dates for such meetings?
My head has gone all fuzzy now, just when I thought that I might be able to do this, it seems that maybe I shouldn't .
not to put a dampener on things, I generally get the least consideration when setting dates times, and I'm expected to fall in with others diary, and there is a lot of meetings in my limited experience often more than one in a week, also at times you are expected to transport the children to and from contact, which from reading other threads it can be a fair distance.
Of course if you can come up with workable solutions and tell the social workers your thoughts and plans. We were never able to pin down to get an idea of how many meetings there are, but between worker visits to your home, network meetings and LAC reviews, and other bits and bobs it soon adds up
May be worth thinking how your CM clients would feel about you looking after foster children, would they mind you seeing social workers when you are minding their children, or having to take their children with you when you are dropping off and collecting the foster child from placement.
The difficulty of being a single carer is obviously all the commitment is on yourself, where with a couple it doesn't matter who attends the meeting as long as one of us does, in reality of course on the main it is me that has to juggle our 3 young DC's and fostering as DH has a job, but I do lean heavily at times on friends to take my DC's to School and Pre School and then on my parents to collect my youngest from Pre-school
I hope that you can sort things out if it what you want to do, certainly most LA's are in desperate need of carers
I agree with squidgyBrain. It is certainly possible to foster as well as CM and some of the foster carers in the LA that I worked in used to say that they had to CM so that they could afford to foster! I think the social worker is just getting a bit concerned about whether you will have the time to foster as you are CMing and are a single parent (not in a judgemental sense) but practically because there is only 1 of you rather than 2.
Obviously don't know how many children you CM or their ages but you will know that you are limited to certain number of CM children under 5 and over 5 - I think that's right. The fostered children would I think have to count in the total number. It is true that you do have to attend meetings during the day and be available for contact etc though this is often done by a contact supervisor - depends on the LA I think. If you are CMing under 5's this could well be a problem. As SBrian says you need to think about the reality of your proposal and have some workable solutions (or not) - you need to think of yourself in all this and whether you can handle CM and fostered children. I know OFSTED have fairly strict guidelines that CMs must follow, and likewise the LA have Fostering Regs that have to be followed.
I think Sbrain makes another good point about the parents of the CM children. I think they have a right to know if you are going to be assessed as a FC also, though of course, all matters about fostered children need to be kept absolutely confidential, so this is a bit of a tricky one.
I think the best thing is to go ahead and have a talk to the sw - they are ordinary mortals you know with their own vulnerabilities etc., so there is no need to worry too much about any preliminary discussions you have. If they think it isn't going to work, they will say so, but you need to go ahead and have a discussion.
As SB says LAs are in desperate need of foster carers, but you do have to be approved by a multi disciplinary Fostering Panel, and social workers will know whether yours is a viable proposition or not. If it is they will begin an assessment and if it isn't they will say so.
Good luck and go have that talk!
I'm thinking that this isn't going to work .
Hi Mogs, I was a child minder before fostering and was told it would be because of insurance that they would discourage me from cm as well as fostering. If a fc hurt another child (or vice versa I suppose) there could be problems. At the time I thought this was a bit extreme as I was only having pre schoolers but I can see what they meant now! Children who are angry (most fc) can easily lash out and hurt someone, especially someone taking their carers attention. I am so glad I gave up cm to foster. I am single as well and find it great.
Also I would reiterate what others have said about meetings etc. Sometimes I have had to do daily contact with their families and that means hanging around usually for a couple of hours. Hard to do that each day with another child in tow. Plus review meetings etc
I wouldn't be able to live without an income though.
At the moment I have term-time only children and 3 days a week during term-time I have no children in the mornings so was thinking if I had some input in arranging certain meetings it'd be doable.
I wouldn't be able to live without an income either mogs but with tax credits and being available for 2 children I find I can manage well. Do you have children of your own?
I wouldn't bank on having much input re the meetings either
they would just say you have to come
I have 1 ds. Does the foster care count as worked hours for tax credit purposes? The sw I spoke to today made a point of telling me that they don't 'pay' me - tbh I hadn't really thought about the financial side of it other than that I'd need to continue cming to some degree to be able to even consider fostering.
No, they don't pay you as such and you are counted as self employed and can claim the highest amount of tax credits as you work long hours and you would have to foster loads of children before you pay any tax on what you do earn. You can also claim housing benefit I believe as the money you receive is not counted.
Yes I agree what others have said were will you put the children when having meetings often depending on the age of the child its not always a good idea to have the fc their let alone the cm children.
The majority of my meeting are held at the council office during the day and as I look after 0-6 I would not be encouraged to bring any children their would be no were to put them.
You also have to think about contact, How you would deal with a no show when you have a car ill of cm children
What happens if fc discloses somthing to cm children.
It can be done but depending on the age of fc and cm child it could be a bit much
Hi We were advised that the 2 are not compatable, if you look after under 10's, . This may be our area only,
How would you manage contact? If I were the parent of a a child you were CM I would be a bit concerned about the amount of time they were spending in the car.
I am a SW and I have covered 100s of hours of contacts. Sometimes there can be conflict during contacts, as a Mum I would not be happy for my own children to be present during these times and end of contacts can be a time when conflict does occur when you and your mindees would be there.
You would have to be very clear with the parents of your mindees as alot of people don't really understand the ins and outs of fostering.
Some of the children I have on my caseload have contact 4 times a week.
Sorry I am not being very positive.
You could talk to the sw again and after your assessment they could match the children you foster to your circumstances. This may mean that you don't have children as often as you may have done if you were not a cm though.
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