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Becoming a foster carer with young birth children at home?(12 Posts)
Another "could we be foster carers" thread I'm afraid!
We have 2 DC and a 3 bed house - the children share a bedroom. If we did go into fostering next year our DC would be 1.5 years and 5 years old. I'd be interested in fostering under 2s.
The spare bedroom is a small single, box room really, but would fit a single bed or even a toddler bed + cot.
Would it be possible to foster under these circumstances? We live in a large city that apparently has a shortage of foster carers.
Doesn't really matter how small your box room is for under 2s as they'd be in with you until about 12 months.
A bigger problem would be getting approved with a 1.5 year old - a foster child should be two years, at least, younger than your youngest birth child.
Also check out what your LA means when they say they have a shortage of foster carers - yes most areas do have a shortage of carers for teenagers but not so many for babies. There are lots of carers with empty cots at the moment - myself included. I've now widened my age range from 0-2 to 0-10 and it's been 2 years since I was approached to take a baby in.
Every area is different though so give your council a ring.
Think you will have too consider what support you may need in the early stage's, with you having a young pre school family, there will be many meetings too attend, and lots of training, also contact meeting for the children with their parents and relatives often 3X a week, medicals, and frequent social worker, midwife's, health workers visits etc.
You would be best placed fostering for your LA whose children will be placed from in local area will help with travel.
If you look after an older child or a child with disability's who would be in school, most visits will be out of school hours and school holidays.
Wish you all the best
Thanks for your replies, I will check with the LA whether there is a demand for baby carers.
The thing that makes me wary about older school aged children is the impact this could have on my own children.
I would wait until your youngest child is at least 4 if you're looking at fostering under 2's. Fostering children of the same age as your own is a minefield and really not ideal.
With our last newborn placement we had to take him to contact 5 days a week, attend lac medicals, SW appointments, lac reviews, health visitor appts. It is not appropriate to take your own children to any of these!
You cannot have them in your bed for cuddles, this was the biggest reason I waited as I couldn't imagine not having my own children in for a cuddle.
And in all honest, our current school age FC is far less disruptive to my birth children's lives than the baby was!
I waited until my children were in junior school and able to understand how out lives would change and the restrictions it places.
Just to add a different point of view - my children were very young when we were first assessed as foster carers. My younger son was just two when we started the process and still hadn't turned three by the time we were approved and had our first child placed with us. She was a newborn baby and fitted in brilliantly. She went out and about with us to all the toddler groups etc which DS2 was already going to.
In our LA contact workers collect foster children to go to contact so we didn't have to transport her anywhere, only be at home ready to hand her over and receive her back. I got a friend to look after DS2 if I had to go to anything formal eg a Review but no SW or HV ever suggested he shouldn't be around when they did home visits and he tagged along to baby clinic with me and baby.
As to whether your LA needs foster carers who only want under 2's, you really need to ask them as from reading these threads it seems to vary widely from one LA to another. Again, just from my own experience, we've been fostering a while now and my own kids are both at secondary school. We're now approved for 0-8 and have even expressed a preference for a school age child to free me up during the daytime for some voluntary work I'd like to get involved in. But still the last two placements we have had, including our current one, have been newborns. So round here it doesn't seem as if they have a surplus of potential newborn foster carers.
Good luck whatever you decide to do!
I have spoken to my LA, and interestingly their only restriction on the age of birth children seems to be that the youngest must be at least 12 months.
In fairness, although it may read negatively, I think foster carers talk from experience and not trying to sell fostering like the la/IFA do! The reality is very different to what they sell at open evenings and on training.
DS was 3 and DD was 6 when we got our first placement (a newborn). We were lucky as she didn't have contact, although there were lots of meetings. It was hard on my DC when she left 18 months later, but fostering has been a really positive experience for them, and they nag me as to when we will get our next placement! We have also said to our LA no children who can talk (so under 2's) in order to protect our DC from hearing about the abuse that a lot of children in care have suffered. Hope this helps.
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