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banned from using the internet by LA

(21 Posts)
fostermumtomany Wed 17-Apr-13 15:19:18

just thought everyone should know....according to our LA no foster carer is allowed to have a facebook account, a mumsnet account or any account that has a chat facility or a forum.

I was just told by my ssw that any foster carer found to be posting on facebook or mumsnet will have to face disciplinary action!

hmmm.....since when could they dictate what internet sites we could use? when I pointed out that the fostering network has a forum I was told we are not to use that one either!
I told her I haven't discussed any of the children I look after, that I only discuss the LA and never name any of the staff, she said it doesn't matter, ALL foster carers are told during the skills to foster course that they must not use any of the websites mentioned.
she also said it is in the foster carers handbook. so I went online to view the most recent handbook and nowhere does it say that foster carers cannot use these websites. it just says that you cannot discuss the children.
so here I am on mumsnet as I am NOT being dictated to by my LA. I have every right to go on whatever website I want to. when they start paying me a wage, and when they start paying my internet subscription costs, they can tell me what to do. until then they can piss off.
im so done with my LA. no respite under any circumstances, no internet use allowed, false allegations made, being accused of having £5000 I haven't had (and have proven it) im sick of them. im done. im resigning.

I am just about to start writing my resignation letter. any tips on how to word it?

expatinscotland Wed 17-Apr-13 15:24:44

This is why there are so few foster carers.

EldritchCleavage Wed 17-Apr-13 15:28:56

Cannot be true (what the SSW said, not your OP). All they can demand is that you do not discuss/identify the children you foster. What else you do on the internet is not their business, unless it is something alarming (e.g. you run webcam sex sessions) that makes you unsuitable to be a foster carer. Are they really saying that if you had a hobby e.g pigeon-fancying or needlepoint you couldn't even go on a forum discussing that? Barking.

Panadbois Wed 17-Apr-13 15:38:39

news to me shock

fostermumtomany Wed 17-Apr-13 16:06:50

im furious about this.
im literally shaking with anger. I mean I have a list as long as my arm with issues about my LA but this just takes the biscuit. we are not paid for fostering, we get a basic allowance. its 95 a week. that's it.
so what gives them the right to dictate what I can and cannot do on my computer with my internet access?
obviously I know not to discuss specifics with strangers, im not an idiot but according to her we as carers should not be using any of the sites mentioned, at all ever.
she even said I wasn't to google anything to do with fostering chat rooms or forums.
add this to the fact that my LA are no longer any respite placements but they wont let you take under 2's abroad on holiday, add this to the fact that they keep chaning the mandatory training courses every 6 bloody months, then the fact that they have introduced a tiered payment scheme, oh I could go on and on and on. im just sick to death of the stress. I knew fostering would be stressful but I thought that would come from the children (not all of them), not the very people who are supposed to be working with us. I was told by my parents who used to foster that social services would use and abuse us but I didn't quite expect it to be so badly.
this is the straw that broke the camels back.

changeThatNameRightNow Wed 17-Apr-13 16:12:01

Media will get hold of this (good).

Hope you're ok, totally understand why you're fuming. I'm presuming it's one rogue SW getting a bee in her bonnet rather than an actual decree from LA?

fostermumtomany Wed 17-Apr-13 16:21:49

I have no idea. all I know is she said that it had come from the area manager (who I would love to name), and that all carers had recived training on this. well I haven't and neither have any of the other carers I have spoken to.
makes me laugh. I looked up my ssw on facebook and she has over 4000 friends. yeah like she knows all of them. she also has a lot of posts about her working day. like for instance the following:

"What a day! Nothing but complaints from our carers, if they don't like it, why don't they just quit and save us all the hassle of their rubbish"


"For Gods sake, If I have one more foster carer tell me they are sick of the way they are treated I swear I will tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine"


"had to remove a child today whilst covering for *****, I tell you what, the childs parents were complete idiots!"

(I put the stars there, she actually named the other sw).

so how is she allowed to post things like that yet we are not even allowed to have a fb account?

I have just checked the policies and procedures for my LA and the only thing it says is that foster carers must not disclose or discuss any child in their care, or any details that could identify the placement.

I have never done that and I don't know any carers that have, I don't know anyone stupid enough who would do that and put a placement at risk in that way. so why the ban on the internet?

EldritchCleavage Wed 17-Apr-13 16:24:03

Get on to her area manager pronto with screenshots from her FB.

ParsingFancy Wed 17-Apr-13 16:26:50

Yep, FB screenshots immediately.

She sounds barking and completely unfit to do her job.

tethersend Wed 17-Apr-13 16:30:59

If a foster carer cannot be trusted with confidential information (which a ban would certainly imply), then they shouldn't be foster carers.

They can't have it both ways. Either you're naughty children who can't be trusted, or you're responsible adults entrusted with the care of vulnerable children.

fostermumtomany Wed 17-Apr-13 16:31:10

how do I do screenshots and what are they?
(im useless on computers)

ArthurSixpence Wed 17-Apr-13 16:35:07

There will be a Prnt Screen button on your computer.

If in doubt, just use a camera or your phone.

Can't beleive she has no security on her FB even!

(I know a foster mum who is on FB - she is good friends with my OH and they were chatting on it last night in fact)

mrsminiverscharlady Wed 17-Apr-13 16:39:24

I'd also email her 'to clarify' ie get her to put it in writing so you can prove what she said to you about internet use. Then complain about her along with the screenshots!

CheeseandPickledOnion Wed 17-Apr-13 16:41:42

Ctrl + Print Scrn

And then paste into Paint and save as a .jpg.

ginmakesitallok Wed 17-Apr-13 16:46:26

Her Fb comments would be gross misconduct, breach of client confidentiality and a sackable offence

Panadbois Wed 17-Apr-13 16:48:17

I have been advised not to take advice from parents on MN during a training session due to all forum partaking people are loons shock
I told the trainer that she was insulting my intelligence! Also said that if I was to listen to my mother for example, rather than sane people on here, i'd be giving LO weetabix in her bottle!

musickeepsmesane Wed 17-Apr-13 17:07:40

eh? weetabix in a bottle distracted from real issue really? I would like to see that!!

fostermummytomany Time for you to place a bomb under that ssw's butt. That is truly horrific. Screenshots all the way. Report her. Also, I think what you have been told is crap. I have been told just not to mention my kids on FB, my friends respect that and it is fine. I think MN keeps me sane, gives me a much needed giggle and support.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 17-Apr-13 17:15:45

Screen print it then make a formal complaint.

It's not true about facebook and the forums - considering they provide courses to teach foster carers how to keep foster children safe on the internet and facebook hmm Where the main recommendation is that foster carers monitor all foster childrens communication by adding them on facebook.

It's totally not true - don't resign, complain.

Occasionally someone will make a mistake - this is one of them. Last week my lovely SSW brought a trainee with her (they always bring them to mine because I'm very straight talking) and she commented that she thought it 'inappropriate' to be drying mine and foster dd's bras on the back of a chair in the kitchen - she got a right quizzing on that and she got very defensive (which pleased my SSW no end)

In the end after claiming that men in the house could see the bras - countered with 'sometimes DH does the washing, do men not do the washing in your house'? grin

in the end she said that she 'wouldn't allow it' when she got to be a social worker (she was very spluttery and red by this point) - both me and the SSW laughed a lot and said that she had a lot to think about.

In truth we were very kind to her and she's only been training a few weeks.

almostanotherday Wed 17-Apr-13 17:23:20

Print as much as you can now, before one of the 4000 friends comes across this thread and deletes it all.

EhricLovesTeamQhuay Wed 17-Apr-13 17:30:20

She's talking out of her arse. Have you considered doing agency foster care? You get paid a lot more. £95 a week - they are having a laugh. All LA FCs in my area get minimum £250 a week.

fostermumtomany Wed 01-May-13 01:43:28

I would love to do agency care but I don't have a spare room and every agency I have spoken to has insisted on having one. although I would only want to foster little ones 2 years and under, they still wont let me.

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