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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on fostering.

Would they be interest in me as a FC?

(13 Posts)
JacksonPollocks Mon 08-Aug-11 22:11:57

I've quietly wanted to be a foster carer for years, probably stoked further by teaching many many children in care and seeing the positive impact of foster carers have had for children or families. The best part of my job is the difference I make. I love children being around, plus I don't have a huge urge to necessarily have children that are biologically 'mine'.

I work 3 days a week teaching (SENCO), could possibly do 2 days. Would this put the LA off letting me foster.?

DH (a teacher) is supportive but says no to teenagers (well except ones we have so long they grow into teenagers). Our own teenagers are enough with their own dramas! He's very positive about the idea, plus we're moving soon and will have a spare room for the first time.

We have a one year old, plus a 14 and a 16 yr old who live abroad (well most of the time, we have space but they're finishing schooling abroad after struggling as EAL here plus the differences with the system/ mild bullying).

JacksonPollocks Mon 08-Aug-11 22:13:40

Oh, also we are white non-english (speak Polish, Russian among others) and in a multi-cultural area.

bonnieslilsister Mon 08-Aug-11 22:28:35

I think they would jump at you honestly. Many LA's and agencies would like one of you not to work but maybe 2 days would be ok. Were you thinking of primary school age or younger? If younger I think they would definately want someone to not work. And also there are a lot of meetings to attend and you would have no say in when the meetings would be.

Good luck

JacksonPollocks Mon 08-Aug-11 22:34:10

Realistically to pay the mortgage 2 days are needed. Primary school would be great (we both teach in primary so it's what we feel most comfortable with, not a fan of repeating baby times tbh). We'd be happy as I said for later primary growing into teenagers, but probably not starting with teenage years at first. Due to the nature of my job, not being class based, there is some flexibility as to work days which I have relied on for my own son's hospital appointments.

It's hard to explain WHY, we're just both family people in another country from our own extended families who feel we have love and a happy stable family that's open to sharing. In the village it's rather natural to take on children in times of need (we have in the past with neice).

bonnieslilsister Tue 09-Aug-11 00:00:11

Don't forget you get a fostering allowance which might mean you could afford to stop work if that was what you wanted. You should be able to find out online how much your LA or a particular agency pay. It probably is more than 2 days teaching.

You sound lovely people and I hope you perservere with your investigations! x

Lou222 Tue 09-Aug-11 21:10:07

I would suggest you start making enquiries now, even if you're not 100 % sure.
The process takes so long (18 months and counting for me! ) that the sooner you enquire and then if you decide to go for it the sooner you could have a little one with you.
Good luck

JacksonPollocks Fri 12-Aug-11 17:40:31

We're still talking but after lots of research and soul-searching we're thinking teenagers may be best for us. We have lots of practice teaching/ tutoring them plus our own and we feel they're the group we have most to offer and would fit into our household. They seem to be a group that's being over-looked a bit and we genuinely like them and are pretty relaxed and expectant with teenage behaviour. We feel we could potentially help them academically hugely, we both at work are in charge of behaviour in rough schools. We've seen it all!

NanaNina Mon 15-Aug-11 22:42:43

Hi JP - I think you really need to think clearly about the age range of children you wish to foster. You did say your H was fine, but not wanting teenagers, and then you decide you do want teenagers. Foster carers are assessed as either short term foster carers or permanent carers, and you need to be clear about this. I think it is best for people to start off as short term carers (though this can stretch into 2 yrs or more if the situation is complicated) but most placements are much shorter than this. Being short term carers does at least give you some experience in caring for children, and confirming (or not) that this is what you want to do and is right for the fostered children and your family.

Many LAs run specialist schemes for teenagers, though some still place them in residential care. You say you have worked in rough schools and seen it all but to be honest it is very different teaching difficult teenagers than having them live with you. I'm sure you could help them academically but that is not necessarily what they will want. By the time some of these kids are teenagers they have been in the care system for many years, and maybe moved to and fro between different foster carers.

I think the best thing you can do is to contact Social Services in your area and have a talk with them about your wish to foster. They will be able to tell you what age they have a need for - and this is often middle years children, sibling groups, and could well be teenagers. It is a 2 way street, after discussions with the social workers you need to decide if this is something you want to pursue, and if it is and the social workers are too wanting to proceed, you will be invited on to a preparation course where you will learn a lot more about all aspects of fostering. There is still no committment on your side because the course should help you decide if fostering is right for your family. If you proceed, the social workers will carry out a comprehensive assessment of you and if all goes well, they will make a positive recommendation. The assessment (which you will see) goes to the Fostering Panel for approval (or otherwise) but with a positive recommendation from the assessing social worker, you would be unlikely to be turned down.

You can't really take this any further until you have contacted your LA social services dept. and I suggest you do this.

bonnieslilsister Mon 15-Aug-11 23:16:38

Yes NanaNina, I understand what you are saying but I do think it is wonderful they are thinking about teenagers and genuinely like them and feel drawn to help those not many other people feel drawn towards, for a variety of reasons. Also, a lot of children/ young people who have been through the care system would benefit so much from some coaching at home from someone who cares enough. Not all of them would like it, but some would.

NanaNina Tue 16-Aug-11 13:37:41

bonnieslilsister - you seem to be a little aggrieved at my post to the OP, but I was just being factual as I have 30 years experience as a social worker and team manager for a LA (now retired) In LAs where there are specialist teenage schemes, many people are interested as that age fits more with their family and the fostering allowance for teenagers is often generous.

Yes of course some teenagers would benefit from coaching at home, and others wouldn't as they see education as somewhat irrelevant because they have never been given the opportunity to achieve in the school setting and so are disinterested.

bonnieslilsister Tue 16-Aug-11 16:31:55

Not at all NanaNina, not aggrieved at all. I love reading your posts and your sharing of your wealth of experience. xx

NanaNina Tue 16-Aug-11 18:36:01

Sorry bonnie - seems like I was being over sensitive. I've posted a response to you about your children on respite.

bonnieslilsister Tue 16-Aug-11 23:13:58

Sorry again NanaNina, I was just wondering out loud! xx

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