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Looking into fostering.(9 Posts)
I've wanted to foster for a long time, main reason I love being a mum and would love to give a child a life if you will. I plucked up the courage last month to contact a private agency. Social workers have been to do a home visit and have a chat, just waiting for their return to fill in forms ect before training. So just a couple of questions.
What's the difference between working for the council/ private agency?
A couple of questions working for an agency:
I would want/have to? give up work to foster however DPs wage doesn't cover all our bills and living costs (covers just over about two thirds) of them (mw job) I don't want to make money, but I would like to be able to cover outgoings as well as providing for the children. When I say providing I mean clothes/ activities/ hobbies ect, not necessarily yearly holidays to disney land.
As a side note those outgoings are for rent/hh bills/ car, things we actually need.
Is that possible with any extra financial help we might get?
Also, how far between are placements and what happens when you don't have a placement?
I know I'm probably being niave, I haven't actually heard anything but negatives from foster carers but I'm still looking forward to the future (for now), so if anyone has any postive experiences from fostering please share.
*A couple of questions for foster carers who work for an agency
Hiya. First of all, good luck!
The Local Authority (ie. council) are the ones who take children into care and have the responsibility for accommodating them. They will only use an agency if their own 'in house' carers are full or not able to house the child or children they need to house.
So, if you work for an agency there can be more sibling groups / disabilities / behaviour problems / older children and teens. Because these are 'harder to place' with in house carers. You'll get less babies and very young ones, so if you want to be a baby carer you're best applying to the council.
However, agencies make more money (they are paid A LOT by the council) so they can offer more support, specialised training etc. You could also get a higher fee / allowance than the council would give you, but most of this should go on the child's needs. There might be birthday / holiday / Christmas allowances in this (we get these) and there should be an element of it which goes towards the 'child's share' of the food / rent / bills.
Saying that, they WILL want to see that you can look after yourselves financially without a placement, as there can be long gaps.
Gaps will entirely depend on the needs of the councils near you, the age range you're approved for, the amount of children you can take, your experience and skills, your location, the weather on the day... well it is a lot of different factors is what I'm saying. Also, ask the agency if they have Tier 1 status with the Local Authority.
You're likely to have no allowance coming in between placements. SOME agencies and councils pay a 'retainer' fee but not many.
Just to add... I foster for an agency, we have savings and I have a freelance job which I can drop or pick up at any time, so that's how we manage.
I foster for a non-profit agency. Just so you know, lots of agencies make millions in profit out of money for vulnerable children and I wasn't OK with this ethically. Not giving advice here but just FYI.
Hope this helps! Good luck on your fostering journey
Thanks, sw been today and answered questions, she did mention tier 1 and sibling groups/ those with sen ect, she also mentioned tier 3 and not sure if she said the company don't offer this or I wouldn't have placements in tier 3?????? I am open to age range and needs atm, although im aware that may change.
Do you like fostering?
I foster for an agency and our little one is now long term. They have been with us for 4 years and came when they were 4. We get a flat allowance each week and pay for everything out of that.
When they came they attended school 16 miles away and they stayed there for 2 years. This meant a 64 mile a day round trip for me each day.
We also go on at least 2 family holidays abroad each year and always take our little one.
When they first came we had no medical diagnosis for them but they are now diagnosed ADHD and ASD.
We are paid £340 per week, this is allowance for the child and for us. Out of this we have to show we are saving £10 per week and giving £5 pocket money.
Since we have started fostering we have noticed the amount of paperwork increase year by year. Before we were presented to panel
We had to prove to social workers that we would not be dependant on allowance to pay our bills etc as we were told that we could have gaps between placements.
We get lots of training but sometimes I think it's just a box ticking exercise as I find that we are required to go on training that isn't relevant just so that we can say we have been when we go to panel. For example I have child with neurodevelopmental problems and we are being sent on courses for asylum seekers and trafficked children!
Yes we love being a fostering family
(My birth children are late teens)
But I think if we didn't have our little one long term I don't think we would still be doing it.
Hope this has answered some of your questions.
Cassimin. I hope I'm not telling my grandmother how to suck eggs as you sound very experienced but are you aware you can claim disability living allowance for your lo with ADHD?
Yes, we do but that is to be spent on the child. We need to show what we are spending it on by keeping receipts etc.
I was told not to save it but there's only so much that I can use so I have opened another account and I put most of it in there for their future. ( they've got more savings than all of us put together)
It comes in useful for things like sensory equipment and various therapys though.
Thanks for mentioning it as I didn't know for nearly 3 years, was told my a new social worker. Just as well she was upto speed as none of the others had mentioned it.
Hi sounds like we're at the same stage. Just had a 2nd visit from the LA officer; awaiting all the paperwork now to move forward.
I'm intending to work part time rather than full time; we'll be able to cope on this (just) and are going for long-term placement approval for between 8 - 18. The bit I don't really get is why you can't be approved for adjoining LAs, especially when they share resources. It seems daft that I can be approved for LA "yaya" but not for LA "baba" at the same time, especially when they share everything!
Ah well, one of the things we will have to get used to I suppose.
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