I’ve wanted to foster parent and child placements for a long time. For various reasons we delayed going to panel until 2 years ago and then we passed after a long 12 month assessment. I have found the past 2 years of fostering parents and their babies an amazing experience but I’m now having to back out to get a real job which is making me feel heartbroken and like I’ve failed. We foster through an IFA and in the last 2 years our placements have added up to a grand total of 10 months. The waiting just destroys me and I can’t keep doing it. Sad day.
I too foster for an IFA and the number of mother and baby placements we have through is very, very small.
I'm presuming you have your own reasons for wanting only mother and baby placements but how about fostering babies (without mothers)? or under 5s? doing respite for other carers in your IFA in-between longer placements? moving to LA as they mostly place mother and babies in house?
Everyone who fosters for IFAs knows there may be gaps between placements but it's very hard if you're relying on the income. Have you talked to your SSW about your problems, maybe they could suggest a way forward so you don't have to give up altogether.
IF you do decide to leave fostering you should never feel like a failure, think of how many mothers and babies you've helped and supported during the time, and these can be the most frustrating placements of all, so you've definitely built on your patience skills. haha. Instead of just leaving, can you leave the door open?
Thanks for the message. I will leave the door open but just try to set up my own business in the meantime I think. Thanks for the message - my logical head is proud of what I’ve done but emotionally I feel lost and disappointed. My IFA rarely gets referrals in for babies or order 5’s as they get placed in house. I don’t want to commit to a child for 10 years due to future life plans so I like the short term nature of parent and child fostering. I’ve also raised the issue of money with my agency as they are paying me less than surrounding LA’s which has annoyed me too. Sorry for being a grump bag I’m having a feeling sorry for myself day.
Possibly heffalump but there have been times when I have absolutely needed the amazing support offered by my IFA and I just don’t think it’s there in terms of supporting p and c placements in our local authority. Have you worked for the LA?
Hi sorry butting in re that babies thing. DP and I also foster with an IFA and have now been approved to have a second placement. In the last month we have had three referrals about newborn babies (we’re not really set up for very young children so declined). So just trying to show you never say never about not getting baby referrals through an IFA. I wouldn’t give up just yet if I were you.
I live in South Yorkshire and foster for an IFA. I have 1 friend who fosters for LA and another who fosters for a different IFA. From what I've seen over the last 3-4 years, the training is much better with IFAs and the support comes in faster if you have to ask for help. So I agree with OP.
I find it really strange that an IFA is offering less financial support than LA, that's the complete opposite where I am.
I’ve worked with lots of sw’s Over the last couple of years and my experience has been that la Sws have huge caseloads and so can generally only deal with emergencies. Their traing and support is also less advanced than IFA’s too. But I’m v upset that my issue with pay hasn’t been addressed by my IFA.
I fostered parent and child for LA for seven years. Excellent support and training package. Also in that time I think the longest I waited for a placement was four weeks on one occasion (certainly no longer) and I received a retainer. It's definitely worth inquiry