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Just registered interest in fostering(13 Posts)
Hi, I have just registered, I have for the past six months been going through the application to become a foster carer, can anyone tell me what to expect at the panel, mine is due soon..Thanks
It probably varies from location to another. In my LA they wouldn't move children from a settled placement back I. House without a good reason. But then in house placements were always filled immediately so there wasn't really an impetus to move children already placed, it would have just caused another placement problem.
I don't think this is necessarily the case to be honest. I think that's how it used to be when IFAs first started springing up here there and everywhere. The thing is if a LA don't have a vacancy for a specific child/ren they have no option but to buy an IFA place and so it can be any child, even babies. I know the LA I worked for used to bring children back "in house" as soon as a vacancy became available.
I agree that IFA carers can be left without placements for longer periods of time than LA foster carers. I am also critical of the fact that IFAs don't explain to applicants how the system works and I think this is not fair on applicants. Mind voluntary organisations don't explain either that they have to be able to "sell" their families to the LA.
IFAs take the hardest to place children because local authorities can't often place those children in house. IME they tend to be the children who have been through several in house carers and the only way they can be fostered is by the LA spending ££££. It's not a choice made by the superior care of IFAS carers. It also means that IFA carers often feel they get the more tricky end of things and also often have vacant placements for long periods since LAs always prefer in house carers when they can.
I've worked with some great IFAs and also some not so great ones. Being an IFA doesn't guarantee better support or systems by any means.
Can someone tell me what an ISP is please - assuming it is the same as an IFA??? Tracyh says Fostering Agencies pay more and give more support - assume she means an IFA (or an ISP) rather than the LA fostering service.
Akasha I'm sorry you are annoyed about people saying ISP's are only in it for profit (and am assuming an ISP is the same as an IFA) but it is true that they are a business and they "sell" their families to the LA at a very high cost. They provide "amazing" services for children and carers because these are all included in the costings to the LA, and on top of that they make a very handsome profit. SO yes I think these IFAs are driven by profit but so are many other organisations and businesses. It means that children placed with IFAs get good services and LA children don't so that strikes me as very unfair. However the govt is all about privatisation and slashing the budgets of all public services.
You say some of the hardest children to place go to ISPs but IF an ISP is the same as an IFA this isn't necessarily the case. LAs have to use an IFA or ISP(?) when there are no vacancies with their own carers and will usually bring the child back to their foster carers as soon as there is a vacancy.
I agree that LAs don't always treat their carers very well and I don't blame people going to IFAs at all, it's just that it's an unfair system. I think the fact that millions of pounds have to be saved from LA budgets means that the service to foster carers and LAC will be even more depleted as time goes by. I sometimes wonder how it is that many carers still foster for LAs.
It really annoys me when people say ISP's are only in it for profit. Yes they do charge a lot, but their foster carers deal with a hell of a lot, some of the hardest to place children go to ISP's. Many ISP's provide amazing services for both children and carers that LA's simply can not or will not. Ours treat foster carers with high regard and consider their needs, and why shouldn't they, we do an important job. Lots of LA's treat their FCs appallingly and pay them buttons, providing very little support. We had to go to an ISP after experiencing horrible discrimination with LA, my advice is please do your homework about your LA before you decide.
Well of course I understand about the child coming first it just seems to be at the expense of her own family. But I suppose that's her job and she's chosen it.
Well it's true, everything does have to revolve around the child. Meetings with social workers can be arranged to suit but contact with family has to happen as agreed in the care plan. It depends on the age of the child and what is going on in the family.
I thought about it but my friend does it and it seems to be her entire life, if I ask her what she's done with her kids in the holidays its all not much we had to be back for contact or to see the social workers nothing seems to fit around her. I wonder if its the same for everyone.
ISPs are profit making middle men and they rip off thousands of pounds from the LAs. They do pay more so if you are in it for the money then fine, the LA will always try to place children with their own carers if they can.
Fostering Agencies pay better rates and tend to give carers more support.
Depending where you live (kent, Bucks, Herts, west London, middx) try ISP they are great x
Fab xxxx open evening involves yucky coffee and LOADS of information be prepared for a headache xx it will if done properly give you loads to think about xxxx it also will give you a feel for authority or agency you may like to go to a few x
Very exciting. We haven't quite got a spare room, although are the process of converting loft for eldest daughter, so once this is sorted we can go for it. I'm going to an open evening next week, what usually happens at these?
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