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How many of you have s/t placements waiting for L/t?

(7 Posts)
flyhigh Sun 11-Dec-16 21:50:38

I'm just curious reallywink
If you have short term children placed with you and their plan becomes long term fostering what are your reasons for remaining as s/t carers? There appears to be a lot of children waiting for long term care in our LA and a real shortage of l/t carers.

Arkay Mon 12-Dec-16 21:13:16

Ooh, interesting question....I'm task-based and currently have a FC who will likely need a long term family and so I've been giving this question a lot of thought recently.

I think I'm unlikely to agree to her staying permanently and I have a few reasons - a big one is that I have a young child myself, and I like to have time in between placements where we can have time/holidays to ourselves. I also wonder whether I'd have the energy to start again with a new placement if I had a FC live with us for several years...particularly if it was an easy several years with us all just plodding along doing the family thing.

I also think if I had a FC with us long term and they really became part of the family, wouldn't I then just let them stay on/keep supporting them after 18 (if that's what they wanted too), which would mean I couldn't then continue fostering as I don't have the space. I decided against having a second child for various reasons, fostering long term would really just be like having a second child, a much bigger commitment than short term fostering.

I also really enjoy the start of a new placement...the hectic first few weeks of welcoming a child into your home, getting to know them, the meetings, etc. that all take place at the beginning. I'm an ex-teacher now SAHM, and I see fostering as a job, working with children in my own home...I like the meetings with professionals/the training/etc. and I worry with a long term placement (particularly with the very lovely FC who's currently with us) that it wouldn't feel challenging/stimulating enough for me. I've only had four placements, I feel like I learn something with each one, and I don't want to give that side of things up just yet.

But then, it could be easier/calmer/less disruptive...?

I won't be surprised if we end up doing permanence at some point, but I think it will be several years away yet, and I think if it happens it will be because we as a family fall in love with a child who we then don't want to leave us.

Aftertheraincomesthesun Mon 12-Dec-16 21:27:43

My last short term foster child was with us for 6 years. Status was never changed.

Cassimin Tue 13-Dec-16 15:31:12

We only ever intended to be short term. All of our children were older and we intended to do short term for a couple of years.
Our FC came to us aged 4 and we were asked to change to long term.
He had many behavioural problems and we were worried that he would suffer many placement breakdowns (he had before he came to us)
We changed to long term in order to keep him settled.
Sometimes we miss our freedom but wouldn't have it any other way.
He has been with us 5 years now and will stay until he wants to leave. He is part of our family.

Hels20 Wed 14-Dec-16 20:01:51

Very interesting discussion. Very valid reasons, Arkay but Cassim hats off to you. Wish There were more like you. I think if I went into fostering (we have two adopted sons), I think I would go in thinking it was short term but then who knows.

Kitsandkids Tue 20-Dec-16 09:52:22

Well, my 2 came to me as my first 'short term' placement. At the time we'd been trying for a baby for a few years, it hadn't happened, so we decided to foster for a while and continue to try then review things in the future. So when we took the boys we only expected to have them short term, though understood that could sometimes be years.

Anyway, we'd had them about 7 months when the court case happened and it was decided they'd go into long term foster care. Personally I wouldn't have told them they would be changing families until the family had been found but a SW came out and told them they'd be moving on from us.

That started months of emotional and behavioural problems while they struggled to come to terms with this. We had daily soiling, fingers bleeding where they'd bitten their nails right down, tantrums and tears at school etc. Once about 3 months had passed and a SW told us it could be at least that time again before a family was found (even though I know for a fact there was a lot of interest in them from long term carers) my husband and I had a discussion and decided we couldn't put them through it any longer and we'd just keep them ourselves. They fitted into our lives well etc and we were as much a family as we could be. So we've kept them and it's been 2 and a half years now. They call us mum and dad and, I like to think, are very settled with us.

We moved house to a bigger place so the plan was in a year or so to ask to foster a baby or toddler as I knew the boys would be quite happy with a much younger child coming into the family. But fate intervened and I'm now pregnant so hopefully there'll just be a baby brother or sister for them in a few months.

Unlike a pp I really like the family life aspect to fostering rather than all the training etc. I just think of myself as a lucky SAHM who gets paid to stay at home. Obviously I go to all meetings etc but don't do loads of training. I'm just the kids' mum now.

mum2tots Sat 31-Dec-16 15:32:43

We are s/t carers. Currently got a 4 year old. Had him just over a year, they've been looking for adopters for that whole time and not found anyone now they are looking for l/t carers alongside and gonna go with whatever crops up first. They asked us if we would do long term. We wont' We want to work with various young people on a professional level not gain another child into the family Plus our children are young and this particular placement is a struggle every day. No LT carers have come up for him either yet.

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