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Thinking of fostering school runs ?

(46 Posts)
Chalk2000 Mon 25-Apr-16 11:24:00

Hello

We are thinking of applying to become foster parents. We have children who will be 4 and 7 by the time we have completed the application processes.

I was just wondering I currently take my own children to school by car so how do people manage getting foster children to different school ? Thanks for any advice x

ApocalypseSlough Mon 25-Apr-16 11:27:01

In the very gentlest way the practicalities are the least of it. How emotionally fit are you to look after foster children? They don't just need getting from A-B and a roof over their heads, a hotel and taxi could provide that. They need skilled and loving care. Your local council should provide rigorous training and support and if they don't- run a mile!

Chalk2000 Mon 25-Apr-16 11:36:45

Thank you for your response. Yes I appreciate there are many many more factors to take into account other than just day to day practlicalities I am new to this and was posting for some advice. I will be attending an information day too arranged by my LA..

ApocalypseSlough Mon 25-Apr-16 11:39:30

Good luck- you'll likely be placed a pre schooler due to your dcs ages anyway, or advised to leave it for a few years. Do read the boards here for advice.

Copperspider Mon 25-Apr-16 11:56:47

By having pre-schoolers, or secondary aged children who can get themselves to school.

Transport is sometimes provided for children, and it will depend on your local authority, but usually foster carers are expected to transport (we can claim mileage on miles over 60 miles a week - up to 60 is seen as 'normal'). We have had short placements where I have relied on friends to take my children to and from school, and one where we said we could only have children if school transport was provided - no other carers were available so they came, but we still had to battle to get it.

It is good to think about practicalities - it shows you are thinking thoroughly about how another child can fit into your family.

Cassimin Mon 25-Apr-16 11:57:13

You will be told what school the child attends before you agree start the placement. Then it is your responsibility to ensure they attend.
It is very important that the main carer does school run in order to have a good relationship with all involved in child's care.
I find that the needs of FC come before those of out BC.
We waited until ours were teenagers before we became carers so that we could provide all the care and support a FC needs.
My first school run was 16 miles 4 times a day.

Chalk2000 Mon 25-Apr-16 12:22:18

Thank you for your posts really appreciate your advice xx

GlitteryShoes Mon 25-Apr-16 12:31:33

Hi - I think it really varies with each placement, but you may be asked to put your own children into before and after school clubs to enable the foster children's school run - social services will invariably put their children's needs above yours.
If the foster children have SEN they will usually have special transport to school.
You may get taxi or other help, but it's very unlikely, especially with austerity.
If the foster children are doing ok, you might be able to do a mixture of before and after school clubs for your children and the foster children so they all get picked up and some individual time.

Twopots Mon 25-Apr-16 14:13:56

I have 3 young school age children and so only foster pre school children which works well for ussmile good luck

Chalk2000 Mon 25-Apr-16 17:01:47

Thank you twopots. Do your foster children to groups during the day ?

Cheeseburglar Mon 25-Apr-16 17:52:53

What age children are you thinking of fostering OP?

Chalk2000 Mon 25-Apr-16 18:20:38

Cheeseburger pre schoolers / primary school ages ?

Twopots Mon 25-Apr-16 18:51:33

They go to groups I take them to and once they turn 2 they go to nursery a few hours a week.

3PurpleCrocs Mon 25-Apr-16 19:15:31

It's not just the school run, you need to consider contact with birth parents too. For a pre-schooler you'd be okay as it's usually during the day but for a school age child i find it's usually around 3.30, for an hour or two around 3 times a week (but can be more).

I agree with Cassimin that's it's really important for the main carer to have regular contact with FC teacher - I usually speak to them at least once a day.

If you went for a long term placement then there'd be an option of the child moving to the same school as your own children.

flyhigh Mon 25-Apr-16 21:15:06

My LA have always provided school transport for the children I have had placed.

Cheeseburglar Mon 25-Apr-16 21:20:19

As has been said up thread, the needs of any foster children in placement will generally be expected to be put before your own children ( with regard to driving them round to appointments, contact, school etc). We have in the past been able to get schools changed when children have been at different schools but only when it has been in the best interest of the child.

willitbe Tue 26-Apr-16 11:29:48

Hi, I started fostering when my children were ages 4, 8 and 9, so all at primary school.

I have had a variety of school issues or not with pick-ups / drop offs.

When we had respite where the foster children just came at the weekend, so no school pickups / drop-offs. This did not work at all, we had not taken on the behavioural difficulties of the children involved.

We had one placement where our fc was the same age as our youngest. The schools were in a two minute walk of each other, I was very fortunate in that our school agreed that they would hold onto my littlest for an extra few minutes while I went to the fc school and then walked across to collect our youngest. If this fc had become longterm we would have had to change schools at some point, it would not have been feasible long-term

With our last pre-school placement, there were so many appointments, hospital, contact with parents etc it was very difficult, the poor fc ended up spending so much time in the car, with all their appointments and the school pick-ups etc. It was difficult. But we managed, and all was well in the end.

Currently we have a teenager, with our children going on a school bus, and the teenager needing collecting and delivering to school, due to being outside of the school bus range. I am trying to sort out local bus timetables for him to travel on public bus for next year, as my children will be in two different schools too. So three schools to be dealing with. But it is all part of parenting them.

At one point I remember friends of mine who are fostercarers having 5 children in 5 different schools. Which worked out with timings of pick-ups and drop-offs, but it became fun when they got a text from school re school closure or something else, and no indication which school had written the text, so they had to work by deduction to which school it applied.

School pick-ups and drop-offs are a practical issue, that you will need to think about before taking a particular child, but like many things, there are often ways around it. With fostering you soon have to learn to be flexible and go with the flow of what is happening.

Enjoy starting your fostering journey!

Chalk2000 Tue 26-Apr-16 23:10:10

I've called my LA today and they confirmed that I would be expected to undertake any school runs. Do I need to notify care insurers if I am driving foster children about ?

Twopots Wed 27-Apr-16 06:57:06

Yes you will do but it shouldn't affect the cost of your insurance smile

ApocalypseSlough Wed 27-Apr-16 11:39:53

Please attend an information day and please think about how you would meet a child's emotional needs rather than obsessing about the money logistics. hmm

Etihad Wed 27-Apr-16 11:49:12

Apocalypse thanks for saying that. I am a foster carer and I have been lurking on this thread for a while.

Fostering is an incredible thing to do, I absolutley love it. but there is a huge amount to it - when you have traumatised children with attachment issues living with you, school run logistics will be the very last thing you will have to worry about.

Cheeseburglar Wed 27-Apr-16 13:05:49

Just a thought - on the matter of insurance - it's really important to let your household insurers know that you are a foster carer. A friend of mine had a foster child set a fire in their home and the insurance company would not pay out.

Chalk2000 Wed 27-Apr-16 13:17:19

ApocalypseSlough and Etihad. I appreciate there are many factors to fostering not just the day to day practlicalities. I have previously mentioned on this thread that I am attending an information day

gonetoseeamanaboutadog Wed 27-Apr-16 13:25:37

How patronising everyone is! The OP has given no indication about her understanding of other aspects of fostering, she is simply thinking through a problem that would definitely not be the last thing to worry about on a day to day basis. I speak as someone who has fostered. OP, you are quite right to think through the practicalities, it doesn't mean you can't also see the big picture. A taxi to and from school was included for us but it was a particularly difficult child which may have made a difference.

Cassimin Wed 27-Apr-16 13:56:45

We had to inform all insurance and both house and car needed to be insured for business use.

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