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Assessing SW

(10 Posts)
jen333 Sat 29-Sep-12 19:10:45

Has anyone been brave enough to approach another member of the fostering team when they felt unhappy about the way they were being treated by the allocated assessor? If so .... what happened?

Cazzmags Tue 02-Oct-12 09:41:44

Hi jen333

I have no personal experience of this but just wanted to reply. My feeling is that you should speak up and contact your assessors manager, there is a massive shortage of carers and they won't want to lose you. Remember it's as much about you choosing to foster with them as it is about them assessing your suitability to foster. Personality clashes can occur, although your assessor should be professional enough to get past anything like that. I think you have every right to ask for support and/or change of assessor. Good luck.

NanaNina Wed 03-Oct-12 15:31:58

Hi Jen - I think you should have a frank discussion with your assessing sw about the issues that you are finding difficult and hopefully come to some resolution. SWs are like everyone else, some are highly competent, some woefully inadequate and a lot in between on this continuum.

If you cannot reach any agreement and you believe the assessing sw is being difficult or unfair, then you should advise him/her that you would like to have a meeting with him/her and the team manager. On no account should you approach another member of the fostering team. You must follow the proper procedures and difficulties must be brought out into the open, even though you may find that hard to do. It will be good training because there will be many times when fostering that you will need to be open and honest about difficult issues.

Can you say exactly why you are finding the assessing sw difficult?

jen333 Wed 03-Oct-12 16:40:53

Thanks to both of you for your advice. It certainly hasn't felt like a two way process so far. Quite possibly there is a bit of a personality clash. I can't really put down, in black and white, what the problems are as we are actually not quite sure. Manager will now be involved fortunately. All I can say is that it's tough having your skills as a parent judged sad

NanaNina Wed 03-Oct-12 22:57:53

Maybe it is just the fact that you did not realise how comprehensive the assessment procedure was, but it has to be for the sake of the children. Your skills as a parent have to be taken into consideration as this is really important, because it's only by assessing those skills that can give an indication of how you would be able to care for children being Looked After by the LA, the vast majority of whom will be very traumatised because of their pre placement experiences. It is also important to look at the way in which you were parented, and how that has been passed on to your own children, and would be passed on to a fostered child.

Many prospective carers feel a bit daunted at the length of the assessment and the issues that have to be covered, but some actually say at the end that they quite enjoyed it! All the issues covered in the assessment are related to caring for a child who may be very troubled, and most people can understand that once the assessment is underway. Having said that it may be that the assessing sw does not have the experience or sensitivity to be able to carry out the assessment. It is essential really that the assessing sw and applicants can work together in an atmosphere of harmony and trust.

Be interested to hear how you get on with the manager's involvement.

Fishwife1949 Thu 04-Oct-12 12:34:45

Also i think you might want to know that this my be whats to come most link workers once approved are lovley but some are not you dont get to change and you can be stuck with somone you just dont click with

I dread when my support worker is away beause the lady on duty is a arse yes i said arse.

jen333 Fri 05-Oct-12 10:26:34

Thanks to you both for your advice and comments. I think I was aware of how comprehensive and intrusive the procedure is but until you're in the thick of it, and you've assumed you've built up a good relationship with SW, it's a shock when you suddenly feel as though you're being put under pressure to give into things you feel uncomfortable with, and in quite an unprofessional way. Something that has caused quite a lot of stress and upset. I am now trying to look upon this as a trial of my own personal strength; a positive thing rather than dwelling on just one person's perception of my relationship with my child. I am basically unhappy about SW continuing talks alone with my child.

NanaNina Fri 05-Oct-12 20:25:37

If your sw is being unprofessional then that is a very different matter. There is never an excuse for that. Can you say what exactly is happening that you feel you are having to "give into things" which make you feel uncomfortable. Do you mind saying what age your child is? When you say "talks" how many has she done. If I am feeling positive about the applicants and the way they interact with their children, this tells you an awful lot about their style of parenting. If children of say under 7 were birthchildren I would usually just talk to them generally in the company of their parents.

With an older child (say between 7 and 12) I would take some drawing paper, felt pens, and get them talking a bit about their family while they are drawing. You can tell a lot even by asking them to draw their family (stick people) and other important people in their life. If children are closer to mom than dad, then dad may be drawn a little but apart, not always, but things like this are helpful and it also means you are not sitting looking at a child and asking questions. I would draw alongside them, just this and that, so it is a joint thing. I would ask them if their mom and dad had told them about a foster child, and they usually say yes, and then I might ask how they would feel if the foster child broke up their lego or whatever it is they are into, and they usually say, they'd build it up again, though one child aged about 7 said that he would "trample on their toys!" Fair enough really for a 7 year old.

If I was happy after this I would only see the children once, and if the parents were realistic about fostered children and the difficult behaviour they may have, I would leave it to them to know their children well enough to go ahead (or not) as the case may be.

SO how man "talks" is this sw having with your child.

jen333 Mon 08-Oct-12 09:31:50

Thanks so much for that NanaNina ... your approach sounds very reasonable, and sensible. Its tricky as I don't want to give out too many details which may lead to identification ... I suspect it would not help my casesad However, my child is seven so doesn't precisely fit into one camp or the other. Further conversations alone are required for the application to proceed. I shall let you know what the outcome is. Thank you again for your time.

NanaNina Mon 08-Oct-12 12:09:13

You cam PM me jen if you want to, just click on "message poster" on the blue line above the posts.

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