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Thinking about giving notice on our placement

(38 Posts)
freddiefrog Sun 13-Jan-13 20:09:25

I really really don't want to. I really don't want to be yet another person who has let my FC down, but I really don't know what to do anymore. Maybe a good old whinge will make me feel better.

Our LA is useless, I can't quite describe just how useless they are. Useless doesn't quite cover it.

My FC has been with us several months and still hasn't been transferred from the short-term team to the looked after team, we've had no LAC review, and our FC doesn't even have a social worker at present.

The make promises they don't keep, lie to our FC, never return calls and basically have had no input in their care since they've been here. Everything that has been done has been done by us and our SSW. They break their own rules when it suits them, they totally undermine anything we are trying to do

FC is supposed to have a YOT worker, a drug and alcohol worker, an education welfare officer, but we've had no contact or input from anyone. Despite almost daily phone calls from me, we've never spoken to any of them. FC has a conditional discharge for shoplifting - part of this discharge was that she attend counselling and YOT appointments

In the beginning it wasn't too bad, we didn't really need anyone as FC settled in well and was behaving well. No problem.

We've had a horrific month with them - FC has been drunk pretty much every day, arrests for shoplifting, drunken behaviour, assault, posession of drugs, more shoplifting, absconding 5 days out of 7, etc, etc. LA refuse to send out an appropriate adult when she's arrested so we are pressurised by the police to do it - it's against the LA's own policies for anyone who has not done the AA training to do it

Culminating in this weekend, a fear that FC was going to run away with a friend and the police putting an alert out to all bus and train stations.

Still nothing from the LA

We were told by the police on Friday that our FC associates with a known sex offender (the person they were concerned FC was going to run away with), information that has been known by the police and social services for several months - no one told us! (the police thought we had been informed by SS months ago) We don't know their name, what they look like or anything. The thought that our FC may have bought this person to our house where our 2 young girls live makes me feel sick.

I can't cope with this anymore. Social Services have dumped our FC and left us to get on with it.

I've put in an official complaint, hopefully that will shake them up a bit, but if nothing happens we're going to have to seriously discuss giving notice on our placement as it's putting our own daughter's at risk now.

I don't know what else to do now

freddiefrog Thu 17-Jan-13 18:58:17


The person isn't actually from here, they've travelled here specifically to see our FC. Wherever FC is they are at risk from this person, and FC thinks this person is the best thing since sliced bread and won't stay away from them.

I think our FC would be better out of the area as it will get her away from the bad influence of her friends, but FC won't have a bar of it. I'm hoping she gets tagged and put on a curfew at her next court appearance as it will give us some control over her

There has been some developments with the person today so hopefully we've seen the back of them for now

stormforce10 Thu 17-Jan-13 13:01:16

I'm not a foster parent but I've just read this thread with tears streaming down my face - tears for you, your family and your poor FC. Its going to be hard but I think you're doing the right thing. Stick to it and hopefuly they'll place FC out of area and a LONG WAY from this dangerous adult.

It sounds like you've done everything you can but you have to put your own children first. You've been failed, your FC hsa been failed and hopefully by giving notice and carrying it through you can do one last thing to help your FC by pushing for him to be moved somewhere safer.

Good luck to you all

freddiefrog Wed 16-Jan-13 17:22:41

I don't really understand why this person is allowed to still be hanging around.

They've been issued a Child Abduction Warning notice. Every time this person is caught with our FC they get arrested. FC and this person have made it clear they won't stop seeing each other so I don't know why the person hasn't been dealt with properly. The police arrest them, let them out and they go straight back to meet my FC - on Monday afternoon they were arrested, got let out and my FC met them in the police station car park - the police just let them go off together. I'm amazed by it all tbh.

I'm pretty certain of my decision. I'm done. I'll give them all a fair hearing on Friday, but I don't envisage changing my mind

I've got a massive list of things I'm not prepared to put up with and things I expect from everyone else. We'll have to see what they all say

lovesmileandlaugh Wed 16-Jan-13 15:48:29

Although they have to look at the best thing for your FC, they also have to consider your BC too. Your FC sounds like she is being groomed/ manipulated by this paedophile, and I would be so worried that he will use FC to get to your younger daughters. It frightens me that LA didn't remove her the moment they knew she was associating with a known paedophile.
To say it comes down to money is awful! Is this man not in breach of any order to stay away from children?

freddiefrog Wed 16-Jan-13 13:19:48

I agree to be honest.

But it all comes down to money - we were told by our SSW that if they send her out of area it will cost £££

She has also categorically refused to leave the area. Has made it quite clear she will run away for good if they attempt it.

On another note, the LA's Ofstead report has come to light today - inadequate in all areas. Explains a lot!

Oodsigma Wed 16-Jan-13 12:50:50

There's also the question of whether a move further away might be better for them.

freddiefrog Wed 16-Jan-13 11:03:50


We have actually agreed to reassess the notice period when we have the big meeting on Friday.

They are desperate to rescue the placement, we are literally the last placement for our FC, they'll have to be sent out of the area if it breaks down

Lots more information has come to light today - basically we were lied to by SS when we agreed to take the placement on, but now we know what we actually need to know we can move forward

Meeting is on Friday so we'll see. Our notice is still active, but we'll talk more with SS over the weekend to see if we can rescue the situation.

As it stands, I still want to end it, but I'm willing to see what everyone has to say for themselves and whether we can take it forward

BoffinMum Wed 16-Jan-13 10:27:07

I am not a foster parent but reading all that I wondered whether the police have any means of supporting you, for example via mentoring/victim support links/informal meetings and so on? If not, it would be great if there were some mechanism as at the moment they are spending more time on cleaning up the mess than it would take to get involved more deeply via prevention ... but perhaps I am being unrealistic.

bonnieslilsister Wed 16-Jan-13 10:05:07

Well done op for being so good to the fc despite everything. I am sure you are doing the right thing. You have an extremely hard job. Hope you can have a little break when she goes and don't beat yourself up about her going. It sounds like the right thing for your family thanks

underworld888 Tue 15-Jan-13 18:51:52

Oh Freddiefrog,

I do feel for you, just got so peed off, and so angry sometimes I wanted a good cry.

Our fc he has not gone school again, he goes out and comes back in the evening (not gone missing for 2 weeks now), but like ur fc he knows what to say, smile and say yes I don't know why I do it and as soon as he's out the door PARTY TIME !!!

Do you give ur fc pocket money? What we do now as fc has 10 pounds a week pocket money, if he goes missing we take away 5 pounds and tell him we are putting it into savings for him, the first few weeks he went nuts, shouting and swearing but hey!! it seems to be working.

Not saying it will work or start to solve any of ur problems but its a start, even if they say they will go and nick something they soon get fed up.

I would turn my phone off after hours as you have told everyone, they will soon have to bring her home, I know its hard and u feel guilty but thats the only way things seem to get done :-)

But if you only have 28 days left with her now not much point in what I said, and its a shame as this young fc is missing out on a someone who actually cares to look after her :-(

Oodsigma Tue 15-Jan-13 16:36:48

Just take your records to the meetings!

New SW could be a catalyst too but interesting they only got one when a fuss was made.

freddiefrog Tue 15-Jan-13 15:43:29

Oh, and now we've given notice they're all rushing around organising meetings and appointments and my phone hasn't stopped ringing for the last 10 minutes.

We've now got a LAC review, a cross-authority meeting, EWO are coming out, YOT are coming to see us.

Shame it took us giving notice to see any action

freddiefrog Tue 15-Jan-13 15:34:12

Thank you

My girls are 11 & 7. My eldest is the age the convictions are for

lovesmileandlaugh Tue 15-Jan-13 15:32:54

Oh Freddie, that is awful!

I'd feel sick of the idea of a known sex-offender not only around my children, but also that other people (social services, police) knew and didn't tell you.
I'm not a complainer, I know how stretched resources are, but I really think that is a mistake that needs seriously looking at and something put in place to ensure that no more foster families birth children are KNOWINGLY put at risk like that.

I think I would also want somebody trained to talk to my birth children, to ensure they've not been abused or witnessed something they shouldn't have. De-briefing if you like.

Of course I have sympathy with FC, but you must protect your younger birth children. I think you should put your foot down and say it is time for her to move on now.

It must be hard, but you are absolutely doing the right thing.

Panadbois Tue 15-Jan-13 15:31:36

You've done what you can. Move on and get an easier placement next so as not to put you off forever!

Oodsigma Tue 15-Jan-13 15:30:40

How old are your dds?

freddiefrog Tue 15-Jan-13 15:10:27

Sorry, that was gibberish. Should say

FC was quite clear that neither FC or sex offender friend will cut contact with each other and doesn't care about us or the risk to our kids. We felt the risk is too high so we've given 28 days notice.

freddiefrog Tue 15-Jan-13 15:07:01

Thank you.

Well, we've done it.

SS came earlier and met with us and our SSW & FC.

FC was quite clear that neither of them will cut contact with the sex offender friend and doesn't care about us or the risk to our kids. We felt the risk is too high so we've given 28 days notice.

Our SSW wants to get it terminated immediately as he feels that our FC will try to sneek said person into our house and the risks to my daughters (especially the eldest) were too much

We at least know their name and have seen their picture now - and yes, they have been in our house

I feel terrible, but we've given it our best shot and my daughters are too important to keep flogging a dead horse

Panadbois Tue 15-Jan-13 13:36:32

Bloody hell, don't blame you at all for feeling this way.

Stick to your guns. This problem is not of your making so why should you kill yourself trying to sort it out?

Good luck x

freddiefrog Tue 15-Jan-13 10:10:12

Thanks. I actually feel a lot better for having a bloody good moan about it.

I've just had a phone call from social services, thrown all my toys out of my pram and told them they need to get here to see FC today or I'll be giving notice.

They're on their way!

I think YOT, etc may be thinking the same thing to be honest. FC says all the right things, but doesn't engage in any way, they just agree to get us off their back. SSW and us have put so much help her way but she just agrees then doesn't do any of it.

I'd booked a Dr's appointment for yesterday as FC says they're depressed - absconded Sunday night and didn't come home so didn't attend appointment. SSW has organised a drug & alcohol counsellor to come here - FC went out 10 minutes before counsellor was due.

YOT is actually part of FC's Conditional Discharge terms though, so they should at least contact us for appointments, then if FC doesn't attend them, put proper sanctions in place.

FC says they want to change their life, go to school, get some qualifications, give up the drink and drugs and bad behaviour, but when push comes to shove they just don't do it. FC's next court appearance is for breaking into a pub's storage shed and stealing crisps. I mean really? Was it really worth it for crisps? Probably, because the Court doesn't ever seem to clamp down on this behaviour and just extends the CD

FC hasn't gone to school today as they "can't be bothered to get out of bed" (they're only there 2 mornings a week). Well, I wasn't that enamoured at getting out of bed at 2am to go and collect them from the police station again to be honest

FC needs help and I don't want to give up on them, and we could cope with all of it, if the LA just helped us out.

Put proper procedures in place with proper sanctions if FC doesn't stick to them. Send out an OOH SW when we need one and not quibble about money, call us occasionally to see how we're doing. The authorities do not act as one, the police say one thing, SS say another and we're caught in the middle of it.

Sorry, ranting again. We'll see what happens when SS get here


Fosterangel Tue 15-Jan-13 09:40:50

If it helps we also reached the end with a foster teen recently. We had nearly 3 years of disturbed behaviour (bed wetting/eating disorder/no peer friendships/passive aggressive hostility to our family/hiding soiled underwear). We just coped because we were fond of the fc and hoped for a breakthrough which never came. We did not have open aggression or drugs/alcohol issues but we did experience the feeling of having the fc dumped on us with no support for some difficult behaviours.

When we asked our LA for CAMHS (as per our fc's Care Plan for help with the eating issues and attachment issues) we were told by the manager of our LA that until the fc attaches there would be no point so we got no help. I am wondering if the unwillingness of the YOT and drug/alcohol team to get involved is because the LA fears wasting their cash if the child is not attached and/or wanting the help and willing to engage to make the changes?

We did not have the issue of our own birth children being put at risk. That takes the risk above acceptable to me. I find it hard to swallow that social services would present a situation so risky to your own children.

freddiefrog Tue 15-Jan-13 09:19:42

Thank you

Sorry you're having a tough time too underworld

I just feel we've reached the end of the road here. FC cannot sustain their lifestyle and nothing we're doing is making a difference, our children are at risk and we just can't cope with this anymore.

We also have the saying all the right things, then carrying on in their own sweet way too. FC is no problem at home, but as soon as they're out the shit hits the fan, and there's no consequences for their actions. I was hoping they'd get tagged at their last court hearing but they just extended the conditional discharge (for the 3rd time)

FC absconded again last night, another late night (early morning) phone call from the police asking me to pick FC up, finally got into bed at 3am and then get up at 7 to deal with my 2. Out of hours flatly refused to pick her up and police refused to bring her home. This is happening virtually every night

I'm exhausted, on the verge of a massive meltdown all the time, dealing with all this on our own is just not sustainable.

With the backing of our SSW, last night we told FC that the door would be locked at 11.30pm (curfew is 11pm) and that was that. We told the police no calls after midnight any problems they'd have to deal with out of hours - totally ignored

No contact from anyone at all yesterday, and got the answer phone again this morning.

Just sick of it all now

underworld888 Mon 14-Jan-13 20:04:51

Hi Freddiefrog

Just read ur post and we are going through nearly the same thing we work with a IFA and have had a 15 yrs fc the last 4 months, the only difference is he does have YOT worker and YSMART worker but he never turns up to see them and at the moment not even turning up for school, we have tried everything.

He also goes missing often, comes home drunk or stoned of his face, we have tried talking to him he listens and says all the right things back and the next day back to square 1 or worse.

I have e-mailed his LA SW 11 times since xmas and rang( having always to leave a text message) and I have not had one reply.

Today I got a phone call to say it was the fc new SW and the other one had moved job (well thanks for the warning), she said she will be more involved and hopefully she will, but like you feel like i can't help him anymore, this is our 1st placement and its very hard.

This weekend we have been sworn at and he can be very intimidating as he is a big lad, and when we do or say something he doesn't like he goes verbally abusive using his size.

We are all have a meeting tomorrow so hopefully will get sorted it can't carry on like this.

Sorry got no advise just coping as well :-(

So I do understand a bit what u are going through.

Fosterangel Mon 14-Jan-13 17:28:48

You are doing a sterling job supporting this fc. I really hope that some managers get a good shake up and find you the services you need to keep this f/child safe.

Do not blame yourself if you throw in the towel. Sad as it is, you are not the cause of your f/child's dangerous behaviour. The risk to your own birth child is unacceptably high and I would be fuming too. You have done your best but one good person cannot manage alone - you really need all those agencies involved and protecting your f/child from themselves.

If anyone has let this f/child down it is the LA, Drug and Alcohol services and YOT. Shame on them.

YourHandInMyHand Mon 14-Jan-13 12:45:43

Bloody hell this is appalling! shock

Hope you get things resolved freddiefrog.

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