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seriously peed off with my la, what price safety?

(14 Posts)
fostermumtomany Mon 03-Oct-11 12:44:45

to the point im thinking of changing to an ifa.
at 4.30 this morning i caught my lo climbing out of her cot, now we have the base at the lowest setting but she must have been a monkey in a previous life and lives to climb .
had i not caught her i think we would have had a baby with a broken neck this morning.
i rang my la to request a cotbed or toddler bed to reduce the risk of he rinjuring herself only to be told that they no longer provide cotbeds, toddler beds or cots and that if any foster carer wants one they have to provide it themselves. i then got angry and asked them if they would really rather have a baby with a serious injury or spend £130 on a bed to keep her safe, i was told that their hands are tied...that the manager, has made the rules and that they must be adhered to.
im bloody fuming. what the hell happened to putting the welfare of the child first? what happened to safer caring and risk assesments and the childs safety being paramount. have they been feeding a load of shit for years or what?
so now im off to look at other la's and ifa. im sick to death of all the crap being thrown at us by our la. (See my other posts about payments and training).
this really is the straw that broke the camels back.

anji9012 Mon 03-Oct-11 14:06:26

I Agree there should be no price on safety.

I know we had to use baby sleeping bags for our LO for the same reason. ( they do come up to an age 5) They then can not get their leg up onto the bar to climb out!

I know this does not solve the problem, but it may put your mind at rest a bit.


fostermumtomany Mon 03-Oct-11 14:16:26

thanks, we have tried the sleeping bags but she just undoes them and climbs out.
people look at me daft when i say she is highly intelligent but she really is, according to her doctor she is already displaying abilities of a 4 year old at 18 months.
im so frustrated, i have looke dinto about a dozen agencies and they all insist on a spare room which idont have. so it seems my only choice is to quit.
it isnt just the bed thing, there is a list as long as my arm of things that are wrong with my la. tiered bloody payments and mandatory this that and the other, zero support, complaints not acted upon, sw off sick for months at a time, no financial support initially (clothing payments etc) having to beg for a night respite when my hubby was in hospital after a car crash, being told we have to have business car insurance, being told we have to take out public liability insurance (We foster babies!), being told we have to go to support groups at 7pm but cant take our kids with us, but they wont do a crb check on our sitter so cant have a sitter, being told that the training we have had isnt good enough and we have to do it all again, including cwdc from which we scored full marks, i have had enough.
but like i said all the ifa's insist on you having a spare room and i dont have one so i am going to have to say goodbye to fostering. i adore fostering, its the reason i get up in a morning i dont have anything if i cant foster, but i cannot work with this la anymore, they do not put the childs welfare first, its all about targets, money money money and looking good on paper and bollocks to th echildrens needs.
i cant work like that.

anji9012 Mon 03-Oct-11 14:27:41

Oh Dear.

Things are bad for you.

there are agencies who only foster babies, perhaps you could try them.

Sorry can not help any more.

But Thinking of you smile

InterruptingCow Mon 03-Oct-11 14:34:30

Sorry you're having this hassle. As a short term measure, could you dismantle the cot and put the mattress on the floor? We did this when our youngest learnt to climb out of his cot until we could get a bed delivered.

anji9012 Mon 03-Oct-11 14:38:05

or buy a ready bed, (Blow up thing)

Bert2e Mon 03-Oct-11 14:49:28

Put the sleeping bag on back to front with a safety pin an the zip!

SquidgyBrain Mon 03-Oct-11 16:32:28

a friend of mine took the side off the cot and used a couple of thick wooden dowels/broom handles cut to size to stabilise the side where the side used to be, alternatively leave the cot side down if you have a drop size so that there ins't so far to fall.

Obviously your post isn't about suggestions of how to keep the little one safe but about how diabolically you are being treated and I can totally understand on you feeling you have had enough. I would request a meeting with the senior social worker and see if they will come to their senses!!

NanaNina Mon 03-Oct-11 17:22:27

Really really sorry fmtmany at the way you are being treated. Please don't take this the wrong way, but viscous cuts are being made by this govt to all LAs and all public services. The only choice they have is where they make the cuts and whilst I have no idea how they do this, I imagine they are looking for "soft targets" and think one of them is foster carers. I know in my area they are closing respite care homes for people with disabilities to give their carers a break, closing day centres, luncheon clubs for the elderly etc.

I can well imagine someone saying that foster carers get paid well so they should buy their own equipment (which of course is grossly unfair) but I have sat through meetings with senior managers and I know how their minds work. (Well some of them anyway) and of course they are being pressured by their managers etc. The social workers and middle managers have no chance at all of changing things - unless they are prepared to stand up to their managers and even that won't really help - I have never experienced in my lifetime such viscous cuts being made. No one's job is safe any more, particularly if you are a public service worker.

Getting back to fostering, you could find out about IFAs in your area, as I think I am right in saying that babies of up to 6 months should share a bedroom with the carer. The only trouble is of course is that it is unlikely that LAs are going to have to use IFAs for young babies.

Some of the things your LA are doing though have nothing to do with finance -
refusing to do CRB checks on people who could care for your child in an emergency, both parents to attend support groups at 7.00 in the evening - are they MAD - don't they know about children getting tired and grouchy at teatime and that it is bath and bed time. It wouldn't be so bad if they were asking just one parent to attend, but to expect both to attend at that time is simply ridiculous. Trouble is some of these managers don't have children of their own, so know very little about childcare.

If you do resign I would make it clear in a letter to the director why you are resigning, and mention the false economy of providing equipment against the enormous costs of paying for an IFA.

Have you thought of child minding. Mind I gather they too now have to jump through all sorts of hoops but at least you would be doing what you like, looking after children, who go home at night!

scarlet5tyger Mon 03-Oct-11 19:24:36

Fostermumtomany I fully sympathise as I also have an 18 month old who can get out of her cot. Even WITH a grobag on! My LA don't provide equipment at all (and is one of the lowest paying authorities in the country!) and I've only just bought the cot (typical!) so I've taken the side off rather than replace it.

Luckily we haven't had all these new groups/tiered payments forced on us (yet) but we have quite good fostering groups and hopefully will be able to join together to raise concerns if and when we need to.

The refusal to do a CRB check for you is ridiculous - I thought it was mandatory for you to have at least one approved support person incase you're sick? Surely it's a false economy to refuse as your LA will have to pay out for respite otherwise?

fostermumtomany Mon 03-Oct-11 20:00:24

thanks everyone.
i have to say that the idea of just putting the mattress on the floor never even entered my head so thats what we have done.
hopefully she will be safe now. i will have to buy a safety gate for the top of the stairs to prevent her wandering though as i they wont let m ehave one of them either!
thanks though everyone, its nice to know im making a mountain out of a molehill, i just cant believe they wouldnt want to put her safety above money!

Rubyx Mon 03-Oct-11 22:43:24

They gave me a baby to look after and knew i had no cot. The baby came at night so no chance to pop out and get one.. i think they care, but budget is the rule for life so they can't do anything about the caring.

fostermumtomany Mon 03-Oct-11 23:34:45

well i was chatting to my friend on fb about it and she said have you looked at the local buy, swap or sell page on here, no i said i didnt know there was one. so i went on it and posted a begging letter asking for a cotbed/toddler bed with mattress. anyhow this man popped up at me saying he had a peppa pig one in blue and pink with a brand spanking new mattress still in its wrapper and he was selling it for £30, he asked why i needed it, so i said its for my foster baby ss wont provide one, i told him about her climbing out of her cot and how i was scared she would get hurt.
so do you know what he did?
he gave it me for free! how lovely is that. after all the crap and stress today, an angel popped in to say hello!
im seriously amazed at peoples kindness sometimes. he is even going to deliver it for us in the morning at 9.30 on his way to work. he sent me some photos of it, and it is in immaculate condition, not even a scratch on it.
i was wary at first thinking people dont do 'owt for nowt' but wow what a nice man!

thanks everyone for supporting me today, i know i went on about it but i just could not get my head around why ss would put their budget over a childs safety!
incidently my friend just started working for my fpt today, she told me this evening that my la had actually been allocated 2.5 million this year for childrens services so im sure they could have spared 100 for a bed considering that this is the first placement i have had where i have actually asked for anything!
my other ones i never asked for anything, i bought my own pram, bottles, steriliser everything except the cot, they provided me with a battered old pine one with teeth marks on the bars lol!
i think they are just tight as this was before any cuts were made!

BusterTheDonk Tue 04-Oct-11 09:04:19

what a lovely lovely man... just shows that despite all the crap there is out there in life, some good things do happen...

That man moved me to tears... he deserves some thanks

Good luck and I hope things settle down for you...

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