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Foster Carer : how fat is too fat?

(18 Posts)
ValiumQueen Sat 18-Aug-12 12:35:18

Being a foster carer has been a dream of mine and my DHs since before we met, but for various reasons has never happened. We are both overweight. Does anyone have any idea how they decide who is too fat? Is it based on BMI or level of physical fitness or ability?

Many thanks.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 18-Aug-12 12:38:45

We had medicals and had no problems despite me being 40 bmi, approx 4 stone overweight. Very healthy according to my medical though.

I think it probably differs according to authority and the individual perception of your social worker. My social worker was at least as fat as me and it was never raised.

ValiumQueen Sat 18-Aug-12 12:41:20

Ooh! My BMI was (I am pg) 34, but DH has a BMI of 39. There is hope then. I will look out for a fat Social Worker! Thank you for sharing laurie much appreciated.

Mrbojangles1 Sat 18-Aug-12 17:54:14

I think it depends if your just a bit overweight thats very diffrent to being obese, i say that because often the children that come to us have very poor diets i dont think i have had a child yet that hasnt had a issue with food due to the neglect or abuse they have suffred and often sweets and crap is used as a power tool at conatct.

So its important that you have a healthy relationship with food and that your able to provided a balaned diet for any foster children

I have looked after children who were given sweets for breakfast and their teeth were worn down black stubs from the suger i have also looked after children who only new chicken when it was prestend in the breadcrumb verity

Its also important even if you eat healthy that you can excerise some portion control after

Children live what they learn they had modelling of behaviour at home we must not fail them as well

Mrbojangles1 Sat 18-Aug-12 17:55:00

Our la is very hot on this and smoking

ValiumQueen Sat 18-Aug-12 18:32:18

We don't smoke. Thank you for the feedback. It seems sometimes that people think if you are fat, your children will be fat, and you are not a good parent. We are a few years off being able to foster due to impending DC, so have time to regain our youthful figures.

bonnieslilsister Sun 19-Aug-12 16:43:39

I am sure if you are fit and well you will not have a problem. A lot of mums are overweight smile and so are a lot of social workers grin Nobody is perfect and sw won't be looking for perfection.

ValiumQueen Sun 19-Aug-12 16:47:54

Thank you bonnie. I recognise you from the other thread. Do you mind me asking how many birth DCs you have? I will have three, God willing, and we have 5 bedrooms (albeit tiny) so have room for 1 foster child. I think the rule is that each child had their own room, or is that just for adoption?

LaurieFairyCake Sun 19-Aug-12 16:49:00

Foster child must have own room.

ValiumQueen Sun 19-Aug-12 16:55:25

Can your own kids share? Thank you, by the way.

bonnieslilsister Sun 19-Aug-12 17:09:09

Hi Valium Yes, your own kids can share if they are same sex. I have 2 dc in their teens and have 2 spare rooms although some foster carers I know have bunk beds in their spare room to enable them to take 2 fc.

ValiumQueen Sun 19-Aug-12 17:18:20

Thank you very much for clarifying that.

NanaNina Sun 19-Aug-12 22:36:59

ValiumQueen - weight is only usually taken into consideration for adoption and not fostering. It's not the social workers who bother about this (as many of them are overweight as you say!) it's the medical advisor of the adoption panel. In the LA that I worked for the medical advisor was a stick thin miserable woman and was obsessed with weight.

I did notice though that you are pregnant, so this isn't the right time to be going into fostering is it. I don't know the ages of your other children, but it is always best if the fostered child is the youngest, so that he/she doesn't have to compete with younger children, as they are so "needy" in so many ways. It is also best if there is a 2 year gap between the fostered child and your own, though I think LAs are now so desparate that a lot of this good practice may have to go "out of the window".

You will obviously need to have your baby and get him/her settled (and yourself) before approaching the LA. Will you have the energy to foster with a new baby, if the LA are willing to place a child who will not be the youngest in the family. It isn't a good idea to take a child older than your eldest, as he or she "loses" his/her position as the eldest child.

You can find out more about fostering by looking at relevant websites "British Agencies for Fostering & Adoption (BAAF) and Fostering Network which is the national organisation for foster carers.

ValiumQueen Mon 20-Aug-12 07:44:10

Thank you NanaNina I have no plans to apply for fostering unless my youngest is at least three. I have to put the needs of my own children first, as that is my job as their mummy! I have yet to discover what life is like with three, and may feel that I have more than enough to deal with. I am only putting out 'feelers' at this stage. We are also far from being able to foster from a financial point of view.

At the moment I work with the parents of children in care, or going through the Child Protection process, attend meetings, write reports, give specialist opinion etc. I may in time feel that I am more effective staying in this role, but this is still 'on my heart'.

Thank you all for your honest, open and sensible advice.

Rubyx Mon 20-Aug-12 16:42:21

I am 5ft 2 and 15.10 stones as long as your general health is fine ( i have back problems and fibroids) you can still be approved.

NanaNina Mon 20-Aug-12 18:14:06

Sounds a very interesting role ValiumQueen - not an easy task working with birth parents. Are you a social worker, or assistant sw or maybe a psychologist.

ValiumQueen Mon 20-Aug-12 18:52:30

I am a senior substance misuse practitioner. Shame it does not pay as well as it sounds as if it should grin I am a nurse/counsellor type person.

stardrifter84 Mon 22-Oct-12 23:27:31

Hello Valiumqueen

I am a student social worker on a fostering team. Your weight is a factor, but if you are able to look after a child then this is what is important. The weight would be put as a concern, and then the social worker would address this and present to panel how you would be able to manage. I have been told some creative ways how this is done!

The weight of the social worker has nothing to do with it. We are told what information must be found out and addressed... Sorry I noted that a few people had commented on this! It is a very difficult process, but I am in complete admiration for all the amazing people that I meet who foster.

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