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I HATE contact!

(20 Posts)
Candycoco Wed 29-Jul-15 18:31:16

Having a really difficult time at the moment and morale is really low. Just need to get this off my chest.

No problems with the child I have in placement at the moment, but I am so sick of contact. It seems to be the main source of problems with every placement I've had so far.
I'm so sick of birth parents not turning up, or being persistently late and children's social workers not doing anything about it. Can't do anything in the mornings on the days I have contact as no time, so just spend all morning waiting to go to contact. All the getting the child ready, packing the bag, getting there, and having to sit and wait in a corridor for them to either not turn up or come bursting through the door at the last second.
A working agreement is in place but yet their are no consequences for breech of it. So no motivation for birth parents to adhere to it. I have my own child off school and contact is dominating our summer and I am getting very little quality time with her. I have to bring her with me to contact over the summer which is not ideal, and I am so fed up of us being kept waiting every time. No one cares about me or the affect this is having on my daughter. Duty worker today actually refused to deal with it as child's social worker is on leave and she can deal with it when she's back.
I am so fed up. Sorry for the rant.

LikeSilver Wed 29-Jul-15 18:44:40

In your position I would contact your foster child's IRO (actually I would ask the SW to do so). Explain the situation. A good one would bring the LAC Review forward to discuss contact issues as it is so important, and plan for going forward. The SW will be somewhat limited by the court process.

Seriouslyffs Wed 29-Jul-15 18:56:44

I'm sorry about the inconvenience, but that's why you're paid. Is the child aware? If the SW's away can you contact the guardian?

Candycoco Wed 29-Jul-15 19:01:32

The children's guardian came to visit a couple of weeks ago and said she was going to contact legal dept as she agreed this couldn't go on but I haven't heard anything since.
My SSW is very supportive and agrees this should not be happening.
Child is kept waiting every single time, spends half their life in a car seat, waiting for feeds screaming hungry because they are late etc. it's not fair in the child, but now it's affecting my daughter as well as she's having to wait in the car outside and I've just had enough.
Yes I'm paid for it, very little mind you. But I'm just sick of the way children's social worker had allowed this to go on and on for months and every time I call / email my concerns nothing is done about it.
Lac review is in a few weeks, don't hold out much hope of them doing anything though

Epilepsyhelp Wed 29-Jul-15 19:02:06

That's not exactly why she's paid!! There are a million and one reasons why foster carers are paid, and to be sitting around waiting rooms witnessing the probably disappointment and upset of a foster child should not be one of them.

OP that sounds completely awful for all of you, I'm afraid I have no good ideas though sad

Candycoco Wed 29-Jul-15 19:03:16

Thanks epilepsy. Just needed to get it all out really, just having a bad time with it at the moment

LaurieFairyCake Wed 29-Jul-15 19:07:39

Contact would be dominating your time even if they turned up wink
You have 3 issues:

1. You control how much contact you're prepared to facilitate - if you've offered to do too much then you need to offer less at your next monthly meeting. They can also arrange to facilitate it too. What would be reasonable for you?

2. The parents not turning up - their issue. Tell the IRO. You've done your job and facilitated contact.

3. Contact is usually the worst thing about fosteting (unless your lea is crap). I have routinely hated the parents for being so neglectful, obstructive, nasty at contact. But you (and I) still have to remain professional.

flowers - see your SSW and offer to do less contact next time.

Candycoco Wed 29-Jul-15 19:14:53

Thanks Laurie. I guess it's just what I was told to do at the start of the placement so didn't question it then.

My LA is pretty crap. Not the support team, they are very good. It's the Children's social workers who don't care about anyone but the birth parents. They always come first, then the child, the the foster family.

Just feels such a kick when you devote every hour of your life to fostering, never get a break, and they
Won't put anything in place to resolve the situation.

I've asked them to put in the working agreement that birth parents arrive 30 mins before the session, and once they've arrived I get a call and take the child. I know other carers who have this arrangement in place and it would prevent a young child waiting around unnecessarily. They are very reluctant to do this. My SSW agrees this is best option but they don't probably because it makes more work.

Ever get the feeling lac are their lowest priority? hmm

Gymbob Wed 29-Jul-15 20:32:25

I am a bit shock at this. I feel very fortunate that my LA does not involve carers when it comes to contact.

that must be really tough for you especially when you have your own DD on holiday, it's not really fair at all that she should have to tag along, poor love sad

Candycoco Wed 29-Jul-15 20:40:21

Gymbob how does contact work in your LA? I wish I had another option but we have to do it. Do your children get transported to contact?
Contact is the absolute worst part of the job, feel so upset about it all this week. Makes you wonder why you bother hmm

Twopots Wed 29-Jul-15 20:42:50

My little one has gone but we ended up with agreement that parents had to call at 8am to confirm contact would take place and I would receive a call to say if it was on or not and if it was they also had to turn up early at the centre and I got a call to then come. I would demand something like this otherwise it's a nightmare - I was missing playgroups etc just sitting around waiting! Good luck hope you get it sorted x how often is contact? x

Candycoco Wed 29-Jul-15 20:48:40

Hi Twopots. That is the exact kind of agreement I need yes. I just hope the sw agrees to it when she's back from leave otherwise I'll have to call the guardian. To be fair my SSW is trying their best to deal with it and they are definitely on my side and in agreement . It's just bloody duty workers refusing to deal with it as it's not their case. So annoying.
Contact is 3 afternoons per week

Gymbob Wed 29-Jul-15 21:00:16

yes candy, all the kids in my LA are taxied there and back

Gymbob Wed 29-Jul-15 21:02:01

3 afternoons a week is a lot during the school holidays, you can't do that until September shock

Candycoco Wed 29-Jul-15 21:06:50

I wish they did that here gymbob.
It is a lot in the holidays, and I'm tired with it being a baby placement so I'm not really able to make the most of the mornings. We are definitely making the most of non-contact days and refusing to have appointments on those days. Have to protect my daughters time with me somewhat.
Last week was awful, had contact 5 days mon-fri as parents were being assessed hmm thank god that bit is over now!

Gymbob Wed 29-Jul-15 21:20:23

golly, hope you get something sorted to your satisfaction thanks

Twopots Thu 30-Jul-15 09:11:31

My little one had 5 two hour contacts a week to begin with half term was a nightmare so I feel your pain x

scarlet5tyger Thu 30-Jul-15 10:05:21

The frequency of contact sounds fairly typical for a baby placement - they need to be able to attach to a parent if returning home is a possibility. The non attendance certainly needs sorting though. I'm assuming its at a contact centre? If so, have you spoken to the contact centre manager? I know they should already be aware of non attendance but I find sometimes messages from the person supervising don't always get passed on to the top.

My contact centre has the rule that parents must be there 30 minutes early or FC are telephoned and contact cancelled. If a parent is slipping then often a word from the manager puts them back on track. The contact centre manager also has more influence with SWs regarding reducing/stopping contact for non attendance. They should be attending Lac reviews (but admittedly often don't)

mum2tots Fri 31-Jul-15 22:09:40

Our children get taken to contact by the people that supervise contact. I'm always super appreciative of this system as it makes my life so much easier. Little Bubba we have now just has 2 contacts a week but gets collected and dropped home.

riveravon23 Sun 02-Aug-15 11:58:47

I absolutely understand. Contact dominates our lives and the emotional effects of parents continually not turning up is very difficult. This is the second summer holiday we have not actually been away because there are contact sessions (or SW visits, or meeting etc etc) every week. I so believe the foster children, and our own family, would benefit from a week's holiday, but while contact is written is stone it is never possible - same at half term.

"What did you do in your holidays X?" "Oh just sat around waiting for parents that never turned up!"

Good luck, OP.

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