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Problems with respite/holidays(10 Posts)
Hi im sorry for starting a new thread but i’ve looked and can’t seem to find a solution to my problem and i thought the more seasoned foster carer may be able to help.
Ive been a foster carer for two years for a relatively new company and have had 2 placements since joining, currently got two disabled siblings M(8yrs) & F (12yrs). Last year my dad died and my agency only allowed me to have one day(his funeral) for respite! they said they couldn’t find anyone at such short notice and with the teenager i had at the time(16yrs) they said it was appropriate that she also went to the funeral.
With this placement i have asked for 3 days respite(my daughter is immigrating and shes flying from London so we are staying for a few nights before her flight), im allocated 2 weeks per annum, and i have been told that they can not provide respite unless a support worker does it within my own home. This would be a person i have never met, but will basically be living in my house on her own for three days. I have argued that this is not acceptable and no where in their handbook does it say that respite is within my own home. Its really putting me off continuing with the company as i feel whenever i request respite im not allowed and im made to feel guilty.
So my question is does your agency provide you respite if so is it in your own home? am i being unreasonable by saying i dont want a stranger to stay in my home to provide respite?
Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post.
I foster for the LA and no, we wouldn't get respite as it is seen as more disruptive for the child. We are expected to treat them like members of the family, and so to take them as we would our own. However, I do foster littler ones than yours.
At our agency there is 2 weeks respite a year and whenever possible it is granted, but not absolutely guaranteed (decision is based largely on needs of the child).
It would only be in the carers home if they had a family member approved to provide respite and it was agreed all round that everyone was happy to have it at your house. Ordinarily it would be in the respite carers home.
The agency also have a duty of care to foster carers, to ensure they are supported. If they're suffering then they won't be as able to provide support to the child.
Up until a couple of years ago we were offered three weeks respite a year. This stopped in line with other agencies and councils and I believe it's something that isn't on offer any more. We don't use it ourselves as our foster child has been in placement for many years and does whatever the rest of the family do. I certainly wouldn't have someone stay in my home. I'd think about changing agencies if they can't fulfil their part of the deal.
Another LA foster carer here. We don't get a respite "allowance" but can request it if needed - it's frowned upon but I really can't see it being refused for something so serious as the death of your father, that's just ridiculous.
I don't think you're being unreasonable at all refusing to have a stranger stay in your house either. Why does it have to be a support worker? Surely another foster carer would be more qualified? On the odd occasion I need respite now (eg to cover training courses) I usually make my own arrangements with foster carers I know, then get my support worker to agree it.
Thanks all for your replies you've given me food for thought.
I would normally take the children with me because it would be a little trip, but that would mean missing three days at school and i just don't think its an appropriate reason for them to miss school. Also the agency have know for a full year that my daughter was immigrating and i would be dropping her at the airport so i do feel disgruntled that my feelings are not being taking into account, as bad as that may seem.
I do work for an agency(vs LA if that makes a difference) mainly because i thought they would offer more support, in particular with these children who are physically and mentally disabled so the respite is needed at times, even though in 2 years i've had 1 day (for my dads funeral).
I guess i only wanted to know if respite at home was the 'norm' as i've never come across it before. Unfortunately i feel this just might be a sign of worse to come. Oh scarlet5tyger; i did try to arrange my own respite with two other carers in my city(with the same agency) and they have left(or de-registered) and the only other option is 150mls away (in another city) which isn't very fair to disabled kids IMO.
Not surprised there is a shortage of Foster parents, it's a 24-7, 365 day job
agency's offer holidays but sounds as in practice this is like LA's, deemed not practical, Must take into account allowances and what little wage one get's (85p an hour in real terms or 42p if there are two of you) will be stopped for any time taken for holidays or rest bite placement .
Think most FC's are in a no win situation. With all the cut backs things are not too good.
We don't get respite normally with the agency we are with, but I do know of a couple of Carers who have got it, but their children are particularly challenging. What we has done for the last five years has just been to pay for our foster son to go on a weeks residential activity camp each summer. He gets a lot out of it, and my husband and I get some time on our own which is nice.
We have the opposite problem.we want to lake our fosterchild away with us but the parent has said we cant and our LA say they are allowed to do that.:-(
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