Hi, looking for some advice. My Ex's sister's son (aged 11) is in foster care. He is recently in a new placement. I'm allowed to see him a couple of times a month. He used to do tennis and that was his only extra curricular but he loved it. I'm being told that "he isn't allowed to do it as there isn't in enough money" from him. I'm just wondering if this would be true?
I know that in certain placements foster carers have to be careful with what they spend on the children as it has to correlate to what is available with the family. So if a child was placed with a foster carer while assessments were ongoing and they wanted to pay for tennis lessons but the birth family couldn't afford that and there is a chance child will be returned to birth family the tennis lessons would not be able to go ahead. It is so the birth family are not at a disadvantage/ can't compete financially.
However, if nephew was already doing this I don't see why it wouldn't continue.
I think that's a bit harsh not to let him as I looked into fostering and was surprised at how generous the funding is. As a foster parent if I ever was one surely you'd want the best for each child and this is a healthy, positive thing to be into. Please correct me if I'm wrong but the money the family is given should easily cover extras like this surely ?
You could mention it to his SW, or to the Independent Reviewing Officer; there may be some additional discretionary payments available if there genuinely isn't enough within the basic fostering allowance.
The tennis club themselves may also have bursaries available, and there are charities (but I can't remember which now - variety club maybe but not certain) who will fund training for disadvantaged young people - being Looked After would qualify.
Suggest that she speaks to the social worker. She can also bring it up at the placement review with the independent reviewing officer. It would be usual to support and encourage a child's interests and if finance is an issue there are charitable organisations that might support. Bear in mind though that there could be reasons other than finance for the activity not taking place.
I am a foster carer and it would not be cost I would take into account I would need to think about my birth children. Transportation and other commitments through the week such as contact if I am travelling to school and then contact and also picking up from friends anything on top of that I would need to consider as other members of the family may need me.
It's all very well doing theses activities but you have to be realistic and when the child goes home will the parents appreciate it ,they might not have the finances available to carry on with it and then this could cause issues as the child may want to carry on.
I would second having a word with the child's social worker. The child should also be receiving savings and pocket money. Both my and my fc social worker check this on a regular basis. Of course the child should be able to do activities, if it is a case of the carer saying there is no money this is terrible. Out fc attends many clubs and activities and these cost approx £40 per week. If there is no time for the carer to take them then maybe the carer should try and get someone else to take them. Looking after the child is their job.
Cassimin some fc's in some areas of the country would not have much left from their allowance if they spent £40 a week on after school activities Do you foster with an agency as there is a huge difference in money available?
Yes, we are with an agency. Our LA pay the same as the agency after training though. I choose to take our foster child to activities, other carers choose not to. I encouraged my birth children to try lots of different activities and would not treat fc any differently.
I foster for the La. The allowance is to spend on the child on whatever you think best. FC goes to swimming lessons, horse riding and cubs. If he was to go home these would stop but he would have the happy memories of going. Also swimming lessons he could have acquired a new life skill.
I also foster for a LA. I was allowed to claim back money for swimming lessons for the last child I fostered from the children's team. Any other activities were paid for out of the child's weekly allowance. If you feel that the tennis lessons are of real benefit then my advice is to state your case to the child's social worker, emphasizing the benefits to him emotionally socially etc. We often have to fight for these type of things for our LACs.