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Becoming a foster parent: Agency or Local Authority?

(32 Posts)
fourlegstwolegs Thu 16-Jan-14 09:38:13

Since having my own child I have wanted to help other children. I have just started looking into it all, but am already confused by agencies/local authorities. What are the pros and cons of each?
I have many more questions but will start with this one!

NanaNina Wed 12-Feb-14 14:46:43

Oh I do certainly understand your frustration. I hate to say this but if it has been 70 days, I think that is an excessive delay, and I would start to wonder if the form had actually been sent off, or whether it is lying in someone's in-tray. As far as I know it isn't possible to contact the police who carry out these checks because once the form has gone off, there is no way of knowing exactly where it is if you see what I mean, and I am a little bit sceptical of the sws saying they have contacted DBs and made it "urgent" - we could certainly never do that when I was working in Children's Services.

I have been retired since 2009 so things might have changed but I don't think so - my son recently changed jobs and needed a new DBS check and after a month and nothing had happened he tried to contact the office where he thought they were dealing with the check (not sure which office) but was told that there was no way any information could be given about when the DBS would be returned, nor any way of expediting the request. They told him it was 4/6 weeks but they had a maximum time for "turnaround" of 60 days. As it was it was returned in 4 weeks.

The other thing is that all LAs may well have a different procedure for sending off these DBSs - and I only know the system we used - the completed form went to Human Resources and they sent it off - but I have to say I don't know where to - it didn't really concern me - I just wanted the result.

What was the procedure when you completed the form. Did you complete it and send in your ID docs to the SS office to be checked - if so were your docs returned, or did the sw complete it and saw the docs and you signed it and the sw took it away. I always used to complete the form and see the ID Docs and get the applicant to sign as a lot of people were put off by these forms.

I know you are in a tricky position and it may be that your LA does have a way of checking where the DBS is in the system and can ask for it to be dealt with urgently, but I do somehow doubt that.

I think you need to start asking questions about who sends off the form and where does it go to, and how can they check where it is in the system. A good word to use is puzzled when you mean WTF (!) You could be puzzled about a 70 day relay because it was your understanding that the maximum time allowed for turnaround of these forms was 60 days. Maybe google and you might find a reference to this 60 day max as I think it's a government requirement. You could suggest they give you the number of the office they allegedly phoned and then you could make enquiries, to save them interesting how they respond to this.

So sorry to be so sceptical but I worked freelance for 5 years after I retired and I carried out assessments on foster carers and adopters for neighbouring LAs and in one case (well quite a lot of them really) the sws were a bit hopeless and were so overloaded with work they couldn't think straight, and I remember one case where I was badgering the sw to complete the forms for the checks (they were called CRBs then) but served the same purpose, and eventually he did them. Weeks went by and the applicants were just waiting for the sw to contact them and after about 3 weeks I contacted him and asked if the forms were back.................there was a pause and he said "back from where" and I said "from wherever you sent them" and he said "Oh I put them in the file.............!!"

I rest my case!

Beaka Wed 12-Feb-14 16:11:10

Thanks Nananina

I have had a reply from SW and she sent me a copy of an email from their own dbs dept which said they had chased dbs national who had responded that the check was at the final stage and he had asked them to mark it as urgent (that was 5th Feb so a week ago but still heard nothing). So at least they have sent it off and it is in progress. I would ring DBS myself but as it is my son's application they won't speak to me unless he authorises and he can't do that unless I'm with him to prompt as he has autism and he lives in supported living. The system is silly though as it will be me that will be telling him his details to tell them!

So basically she said I just have to wait now and there is nothing more they can do.It is so annoying!! Thanks for your support though it is good just to tell someone. x

NanaNina Wed 12-Feb-14 22:11:51

Oh good - my cynicism was obviously misplaced!

Pixieauntbilly Sun 23-Mar-14 21:13:07

I am coming up for retirement, I spent quite a lot of time working towards an SGO for a relative and did the parenting courses to show my commitment along with a library of books trying to understand what I was taking on. Unfortunately I was not successful.

When I retire aged 55 and still quite active and amusing to my nieces and nephews children, my children yet to provide me with grandchildren I thought putting all my previous efforts to good use would be one way of keeping me busy until my husband retires. I do not really want to 'go' to work when I retire and Fostering I think I could put my skills and recent learning to good use. I have requested specific fostering books via my work library

I have read that experience with young children is essential, however this could be a stumbling block unless I could find a job as a part time reading assistant like my two boys had for my current days off. I am quite familiar with the statementing process and have worked in the past with Children as both a nurse and OT assistant, while not being a paediatric variety of either.

Is it worth investigating? My husband is great with children he was a great Dad. He would also like to think he was helping in the process.

Pixieauntbilly Sun 23-Mar-14 21:15:10

Seems LA is the way to go, should I inform the SGO LA or the lA I apply to about the SGO? Will the fact I 'failed' be held against me?

suzylee73 Mon 24-Mar-14 08:28:40

Hi Pixieauntbilly,
I suppose it depends on why the SGO failed. You sound like really strong candidates for fostering and bringing up your own children counts as experience where I work.
Maybe it's worth starting your own thread for this smile

Pixieauntbilly Mon 24-Mar-14 10:37:51

The reason mySGO failed was they thought our family unit, my brother and his daughter, the mother were too close. I had raised questions from the beginning that they did not like, before I realised an SGO was possible. These questions were then held against me. The Guardian was not very nice and I think she came in with an agenda. So my neice was adopted. I can now see why, though not sure why I was urged to proceed.

I may as well just be open about it and see what happens they can only say no.

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