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Would you Supervise a contact?

(9 Posts)
BusterTheDonk Tue 06-Sep-11 19:01:01

Hi (am a regular on fostering forum but had to delete old name due to it being hacked!).

Been asked if I would supervise contact at a weekend due to it being only time for one working parent - contact can be at a location stated by me and at times to fit in around me & the kids routine.

Only met the parent a few times (kids currently under Interim Care Order and parenting assessments being done.. very early days..) but court adamant that parent shouldn't 'suffer' due to having a job.. fair enough I think..

Would you do it? I've not really any concerns and feel ok to do it - albeit I've told the SW that I think I'd be 'in the way' as the kids are so closely attached to me and have only just starting seeing this parent (4 times) after a gap of almost a year... she's ok with this as at least she could go back to court and say we've tried but..

Says can't get anyone (Contact Worker or SW) to do it as over a weekend - kids are only 2 & 3 so evenings isn't possible either..

Any past experiences you can share? smile x x

bonnieslilsister Tue 06-Sep-11 21:33:53

Is this the only contact the parent will have? Supervising contact is supposed to be so much more than being there to make sure nothing bad happens. It's all about assessing the parents interaction etc and writing about it, which as foster carers we are not qualified to do. I am surprised you have been asked tbh.

BusterTheDonk Wed 07-Sep-11 09:30:16

down to cuts probably and not having anyone prepared to do it of a weekend !!

They also have a parenting assessment done (which is of a weekend) but this would be the only 'contact' as such...

Hmm.. just waiting to talk to my SSW... My gut feeling at the moment is to try it and see how we all find it... maybe it can be a positive thing and that he can see me and how I interact with the kids - as I know I won't be an 'independent' person just sat their that the kids don't have any attachment too.. so they will by default interact with me...

I was going to ask the SW for some guidance as to when and how to intervene if necessary, and what I need to report back on...

Mentile Wed 07-Sep-11 09:57:44

I used to. Wouldn't agree to it again, ever. I was the only person seeing birth parents and fc together so when I had to report back to social workers, in some cases about very poor/dangerous parenting practises it was obvious it was me iyswim. After one family threatened to do all sorts to me for 'dobbing them in' I politely refuse to supervise now.

bottersnike Wed 07-Sep-11 13:32:02

My initial response is that if the court is adamant that the parent's contact shouldn't suffer because of their job, then it is the social worker's responsibility to supervise contact / find someone who can, not yours.
It depends what level of responsibility you will have for reporting back to the social worker about the parent's behaviour / children's response etc.
Has the SW given you any guidance etc?

NanaNina Wed 07-Sep-11 14:33:51

Busterthedonk - this is a tricky one and I am becoming more and more surprised that so many foster carers are having to transport children to contact, never mind supervise it. Bonnie - you say that foster carers are not qualified to do this, but neither are the contact supervisors. When I was working as an independent social worker I would go along a couple of time to observe contact myself and in most cases the contact supervisor was not what you would call "supervising" - in one case, she was almost always half asleep! Later I would get to read the contact supervisor's notes and to be quite honest they weren't a great deal of help because they were merely stating what happened (maybe saying she had to remind mum to change baby's nappy or something similar) there was no analysis of the interaction between the child and parents, which is what is needed, but this couldn't be expected as they were not qualifed and there are a lot of social workers who fail to evaluate matters, rather than describe what happens - anyone can do that.

It is your call really Buster - be guided by your intuition - if you feel ok about it go ahead, if not say so. No the parents can't be disadvantaged because they work but this is not your problem, it is the social services problem.
I am beginning to wonder how long they are going to keep foster carers at this rate. Of course the real problem is the slashing of budgets this damn govt is doing, but again that is not your problem.

BusterTheDonk Wed 07-Sep-11 14:42:03

Thanks everyone.. helpful as always.. SW is coming around tonight to discuss exactly what she wants me to record and how/when she would want me to intervene/guide etc..

Made it clear to her that if I feel uncomfortable for ANY reason, I will stop straight away, and that the parent must be under no illusion that I am working for 'childrens services' and will be reporting back. To be fair I don't think they are any risk to the kids, just perhaps need to brush up on their behaviour management techniques..

Hopefully it will be at a children's centre and not their home so other 'adults' will be around should I feel vulnerable but I don't get that type of feeling from the parent, although I'm not daft and don't trust anyone!!

Thanks again!! x x

MissVerinder Wed 07-Sep-11 22:53:33

I would probably do the same, Buster, but don't get sucked in by sob stories etc etc. I've already been burned with that one!

SquidgyBrain Thu 08-Sep-11 09:42:04

I top and tail contact for my LO at the weekend (they have 4 other contacts) I only agreed it as I can read his Mum and Dad pretty well, so feel confident that I would pick up if something wasn't right, still feel that it is a huge responsibility, but so far it is working well, but then again I get on well with his parents anyway smile

Hoping that it goes well for you, NanaNina is spot on when she says that we are constantly being asked and pushed to do a little bit more constantly!

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