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We have 3 children placed with us, they are long term and are a handful although very rewarding. Whilst discussing other issues their sw she asked about respite I said I wasn't bothered about weekly/ monthly respite but would like a yearly holiday just to recharge he agreed and we said we would wait till they have been with us 6 months before having any time off at all. I am with a ifa and asked them to sort out some respite cover for this time, they inform me they have no carers to cover respite especially for 3 children and my sw feels we shouldn't go away at all as the children will suffer, this isn't just respite from the foster children it's respite from my own kids who still live at home therefore the fc won't feel any different I don't feel from my own kids, I feel I am being made to feel like a bad fcarer when In fact I have put so much into this, is fostering not a job? Are we not entitled to some respite (which is unpaid) ?
Your thoughts ?
I don't really see fostering as a job because I feel I have taken on my foster kids as my own. Therefore, if I go on holiday they come too. I do understand that if you have very challenging children you may need a break, just as you would with birth children, but my 2 don't have massive issues and so I don't like the idea of putting them in respite as I don't think they or I need it.
We will take the children with us but passports etc take time and the initial 6 months have been really hard work, I feel they are no different from my own kids sometimes you just need a little break, the Ifas all say better support etc, but is that really there when you ask for it?
There are a couple of issues to consider. There tends to be 2 school's of thought. The first is - I accept a child in to my home as my own and will not take any respite as this may also be damaging to them.
The other is the need for a break.
I agree with both views but this is about individuals for both carers and children. Respite is a standard across most LA's and agencies but I know that some are more reluctant than others.
As a Registered Manager of an IFA, I think carers should take respite if appropriate. It can serve many benefits - a re-charge of batteries, time with your own children/partner, a break which means not breaking down a placement ect.
However, I have been over ruled by LA's on this decision making if they think it may be detrimental to a child. There is a balance here, as in the long term it could all break down anyway.
Carers who do not take a break - it is admirable. However, fostering is draining and the issues some young people come with and their associated behaviours can in the long run be damaging to carers and their own families.
So, in short, I think this is very individual based on the needs of the child and the carers. However, it should never be an outright no to Respite as this is short sighted.
The childrens sw thoroughly agreed about the need for respite, it is my ifa who seem opposed to it, playing the usual blackmail card, if the fc sw had said I don't think the fc are ready for you to have a respite break then obviously we would agree I don't want the fc to have any additional stress but I think my ifa are saying no as they just don't have the respite carers to have the fc so therefore surely it is a lack of support
Mosh2690 - The IFA could go back to the LA and say they do not have respite carers and there could be an in house move for a week. This does happen to us and some times the children with go back in house for a week or to another IFA whilst our carers are away. As long as the children are aware of the move and they will be coming back, this is fine.
I think the Ifa is more bothered about the money than the carer, my whole point of going with an ifa was for the support, not acknowledging respite is a distinct lack of support. As I said we have though long and hard about this this I don't think a week or so a year for a recharge is a lot to ask, I have my own 4 older kids at home as well so the fc will be made aware it's a hol for us (not respite from them) as non of my be will be going
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