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Considering fostering

(22 Posts)
ScarlettsMummyx Sat 10-Feb-18 18:14:05

Hello smile

For a while me and my partner have been thinking hard about fostering. We have a lovely 4 year old daughter and would like to hopefully foster under 5s if possible.
I currently work as a SEN teaching assistant but I would give up my job if we are successful.
I was just wondering if any of you lovely foster parents could give me any advice? Is it hard to get past the panel?

Thank you so much x

ScarlettsMummyx Sun 11-Feb-18 09:51:55

Bump smile

bexollie Sun 11-Feb-18 16:59:09

It's not hard to get through panel, its a process of working with an assessor to explore your patenting and understanding or cared for children . It's about what your reasons are for fostering , your background and really what you can offer a child in care . The training is informative and the whole process took six months for me but we got held up waiting for a reference from my school .There are two stages and it was all really good fun I looked forward to seeing my assessor and panel was exciting as it was the start of a rewarding time with a very special child I now have

ScarlettsMummyx Sun 11-Feb-18 17:15:25

Thank you so much @bexollie. smile are you enjoying it? I bet it is hard work too?! Do you have any children? I would just be worried about being rejected because our house is small and we don’t have a big income. But I do love children and would love to make a positive difference to a child’s life. Would they interview my parents? Thank you very much for all your help smile x

Soozzy Sun 11-Feb-18 23:07:31

As long as you have a spare room and the home is in good order the actual size fundamentally matter.
Reconcile you need to show that you can meet your financial commitments/ support yourselves without registering allowance - for times when you don't have a child(ren).
We had to each give a relatives name for a reference, we gave our mums, mine was interviewed my m-i-l wasn't. They did ask a lot about our parents, how we were brought up, their parenting type, our relationships now, etc. but if you don't want them involved, explain why and can talk about it in your meetings, I can't see it being an issue necessarily.
Our process took just over 6 months. Had a child placed a few days ago, less than 3 weeks after panel! Approved for 5-13yo but our kids are in their mid teens.

Soozzy Sun 11-Feb-18 23:07:34

As long as you have a spare room and the home is in good order the actual size fundamentally matter.
Reconcile you need to show that you can meet your financial commitments/ support yourselves without registering allowance - for times when you don't have a child(ren).
We had to each give a relatives name for a reference, we gave our mums, mine was interviewed my m-i-l wasn't. They did ask a lot about our parents, how we were brought up, their parenting type, our relationships now, etc. but if you don't want them involved, explain why and can talk about it in your meetings, I can't see it being an issue necessarily.
Our process took just over 6 months. Had a child placed a few days ago, less than 3 weeks after panel! Approved for 5-13yo but our kids are in their mid teens.

ScarlettsMummyx Sun 11-Feb-18 23:37:27

Thank you so much for all that info smile how is it going so far?! If I give up work, which I would plan to do to foster, it will be tight for us on just my partners salary but hopefully doable! Are you fostering with LA? I think I would want to foster 0-5 and my daughter is almost 5, would that be a problem? Thanks again! X

Ilikethedaffodils Mon 12-Feb-18 00:06:12

When we were first approved for fostering my children were 2 and 4. The SW were very clear then that the foster child had to be the youngest in the family so I just fostered babies. I don't think this is such a hard and fast rule now, at least not in our LA as I now know quite a few carers whose foster children are quite a bit older than their birth kids. But to answer your question, your daughter being nearly 5 is fine.
Having a spare bedroom is vital - foster kids can't share with birth kids. When we were first approved we had a 3 bedroom house and my birth children were sharing. Later we converted the loft and our older son now has that as his bedroom (our birth kids are both teenagers now)
The other non-negotiable for SW is smoking. You wouldn't be allowed to foster under 5's if you or your partner smoke.
Fostering is without doubt the most satisfying occupation I've ever had. After 12 years I still love it. You sound really keen and have lots to offer. Go for it and let us know how you get on! x

ScarlettsMummyx Mon 12-Feb-18 15:52:00

@likethedaffodils thank you so much smile x sounds great! What age do you foster now? How did it affect your children? Sorry for all the questions! It’s an amazing thing you do. I would really love to do it! We have a three bedroom house, we don’t smoke and have one daughter.
Thank you! It’s very exciting x smile

Smith8450 Wed 14-Feb-18 09:02:00

I remember feeling as you did when we made our 1st initial phone enquiry last April. We missed out on the skills to foster training in May so had to go in September. We go to panel in just over 5 weeks now so it will have been almost a year since we first enquired.
I am so ready for this process to be over now, it's felt like the longest job interview in the world ever!
We have a 10 yr old daughter and were told a fc had to be 2 yrs in age difference either side of her. We have opted for 0-2 yr olds for short term care.
There's a group on fb called foster carers UK which you may find helpful at this stage. You can ask anything and people are generally very friendly and helpful.
Good luck with everything xx

ScarlettsMummyx Wed 14-Feb-18 09:36:37

@Smith8450 thank you very much! Good luck to you smile bet you’re excited?! How does your daughter feel about it? My daughter is 5 in the summer, not sure if I should wait til she’s a bit older. Wow a year, It is such a long process! Did you enjoy the training? I will check that fab group out Xx

Smith8450 Wed 14-Feb-18 10:30:09

My daughter is very excited! She loves having other children around and is a very loving, nurturing girl.
The training was fine. Before I knew It, it was over!
If I was you I'd look to see if there are any information sessions. Phone your local LA and enquire. You can always do the initial process of enquiry and home visit then do the skills to foster. You can put your application on hold if afterwards you feel now is not the right time.
I feel that with this information you can then make an informed decision and see if it is for you and your family.
Maybe consider respite to start with?
Good luck xx

Cassimin Wed 14-Feb-18 18:00:05

I started fostering when my youngest were 13. I thought this was a good age. We were approved for 2 children 0-18.
During our assessment our sw interviewed friends and family.
We had to provide full work history from when we left school.
We also had to provide 3 years of bank statements.
We had first child aged 6 placed a few weeks after panel. They were a failed adoption and only stayed a few weeks.
The next child, a 4 year old came a few days later. Short term.
6 years later the child is still with us, now long term.
I was glad my children were older when we started as if they were young I would have felt really guilty as our fc needs so much of my time.
They came without any medical problems but have since been diagnosed ADHD ASD.
It has been very hard but as my children were older they could understand and tolerate all the upset in the home.
Most chilren come with problems which have not been noticed so just be aware of this and make sure that you and your family are ready for it.

MillieMoodle Wed 14-Feb-18 18:09:05

Watching with interest as it's something I have been thinking about quite a bit recently. DS2 is only 17 months so it would be a few years off yet I think but I'm interested to know how it works. DH is a SAHD so presumably that would be OK? We have a spare room.

How do you know how long you will be fostering a particular child for? And say for example you wanted to go on holiday - are you allowed to go and take the child with you? Or would you just not be able to go? Sorry if that's a really stupid question. And once a child moves on from you, do you keep in touch with them or hear how they're getting on?

SeratoninIsMyFriend Wed 14-Feb-18 18:23:03

Social worker here-
* main carer can be male and this sometimes suits some children very well.
* you are expected to include child in all family activities unless there is a good reason why not, so holidays yes they go too hopefully, but if they can’t they go to your back up carers or other foster carers.
* ongoing contact depends on where they go but certainly lots of teens stay in touch once they move onto independence. Younger children often need to be able to form secure attachments in new placements so continuing to see old carers doesn’t always happen.
* if you want to prepare then read up on attachments theories, trauma & loss and I would say maybe try to learn about ASD and ADHD as these affect quite a lot of children so you are likely to encounter it. It also shows you are keen to learn.
* my top tip is don’t expect to go into it parenting the way you have parented your own child as looked after children often need very different strategies and methods.

Lovely to hear your enthusiasm, good luck!

ScarlettsMummyx Wed 14-Feb-18 18:31:26

Thank you everyone ! smile all so helpful. I think I will wait a couple of years til Scarlett is a bit older but she also is very friendly and caring so would love having other children around! Sounds like a long hard process. I would be worried about them checking our bank statements because we aren't very well off! Though we can just about live on just dp's wage. I have a lot of experience with children in the autism spectrum and challenging behaviour though so that will help.
X

MillieMoodle Wed 14-Feb-18 18:43:31

Thanks** for answering my questions Sera. DH is also a football coach for a young kids' team - he has a mixture of boys and girls in his team and one is autistic so he has a little experience there (although obviously having full time care for a child with additional needs is very different). Of course if we fostered a child and went on holiday we would want to take the child with us, I just wondered whether we would be allowed to. It's good to know that they would be able to be included in everything. I will definitely read up on what you have suggested - we have two very lively, boisterous boys but don't really have much experience of ADHD or ASD or additional needs so I would want to go into fostering as prepared as possible. I think we would probably wait until DS2 is 5 or 6 at the earliest so still a few years off - plenty of time to learn about it.

How do they decide how to place a child with a particular family? Is it just on the basis that a child needs fostering and a particular family has a space or do they try to match a child where they think he or she will be happiest?

Cassimin Wed 14-Feb-18 18:43:52

Unless there is a definite plan in place mostly you will not know how long the child will be placed.
I have heard of many fc who were short term and then plan changed to long term.
That is what happened to us.
We are lucky that we have been able to take our fc away with us on all of our holidays. I know of some carers who are unable to get passports for various reasons so child has not been permitted to leave the country.
I agree to getting as much training as you can around neurodevelopmental conditions as the majority of carers I meet are having children with these conditions placed with them and they are undiagnosed at time of removal so it is not picked up until children have been in care for months or years and it is a very long process to diagnosis.
I know of families where main carer is male and it works well.

MillieMoodle Wed 14-Feb-18 18:44:45

Oops sorry, bold fail

Cassimin Wed 14-Feb-18 18:52:28

In theory when a child is removed the child's sw gets a list of suitable carers.
They then read through the form F of each family and then decide who would be best match.
If you are the best match your sw then rings you to ask if you will agree to placement.
You are then supposed to be told all details of the child but remember not everything will be known!
Details of school, contact arrangements will be important so you need to make sure that you know this information before you accept.
You are then told when to expect the child.
Even at this stage things can change though, family could come forward or court could change the plan.
If everything goes to plan, the child will arrive with their social worker and meetings will be set up with various people over the next few weeks.

Jhlouise14 Mon 26-Feb-18 00:34:26

Hi, sorry to jump on to this discussion but I need some advice if that is okay.

Thankyou...x

Glitter29 Sat 10-Mar-18 22:53:39

Hello,

Me and my partner have been thinking about fostering for a while now. We dont have any children of our own, but feel we have alot to offer and we love the idea of being able to make a difference to others. Is it a long process? What happens in regards to work would i need to give up work? or do you get help if your a foster carer? We currently have a e bed property which we own so have lots of room as there is only us

Id love to hear your stories and.feedback x

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