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Pets and fostering approval

(8 Posts)
Booklover137 Fri 26-Jun-20 22:15:36

My partner and I are halfway through the application process and everything was going extremely well - we both work with children for a living already, are financially stable, have a nice home in a nice area, we returned all paperwork before the deadlines and our social was about to request to move our panel date forward, and when we had our first health and safety check there were initially no issues. Then out of the blue we received a text from our social worker saying something along the lines of ‘actually, I’ve been thinking about your animals, and the fact that the cages are in the dining room might be a health hazard.’ We have a single rat and a group of degus (and two rabbits, but they live in the utility room). All of their food and supplies are stored away in a cupboard separate to the kitchen.

Both the social worker and the agency knew what pets we had from the offset, and we’ve even had conversations about where the pets are kept and the social worker herself was saying how soft she is with her own animals and her dog is allowed on the beds, etc. The cages are kept clean, their designs mean that there isn’t really any mess escaping the cage, and we hoover any fleck that does escape straight away. We’ve already filled in the pet assessment questionnaires and thoroughly checked the health and safety guidelines on pets and it doesn’t mention areas of the house the animals cannot be other than in the child’s bedroom, for obvious reasons. The cages are not on the table or near the kitchen counters, so surely they are less of a hygiene risk than dogs or cats that access every room freely? I mean, cats use litter trays and then hop onto the kitchen counters! We were told from the offset that small caged mammals shouldn’t present an issue at all, so this has come out of the blue and really upset us as there is nowhere else our large, custom made set-up will fit, so it’s a case of they cave on this or we give up on the entire idea. This would be a heartbreaking outcome as it matters greatly to us, but our animals are a part of the family.

Does anybody have any experience with this? Have any of you been turned down for hygiene reasons having pets (not temperament reasons) or do you think she is just being over-cautious and a bit picky?

OP’s posts: |
f0stercarer Sat 27-Jun-20 15:11:55

I suggest you clarify whether this a deal breaker for the agency or local authority concerned. If it is approach a different agency/local authority and raise the issue up front. You might find you just have a difficult sw who is flexing their power. (Get used to this if you are going to become a foster carer !)

Wyntersdiary Mon 29-Jun-20 03:22:00

how stupid to risk losing out on good Foster parents because of something so silly -_-

smith24 Sat 11-Jul-20 10:43:19

I have an enquiry for a fostering. I currently went through the process of getting approved however the company closed the application after 2years of the process due to a miss diagnosed with a personality disorder from a health professional nearly 12years ago in which my doctor that has been my doctor for nearly 20years was unaware of and agrees that the diagnosis is completely and utterly wrong and I had written evidence to prove from my doctor that it was incorrect as I have never been treated with the condition and my doctor of 20years sees me regularly and believed this is wrong, I have been prepared to get reassessed by a private psychiatrist in which I can present the outcomes as I am very passionate about fostering, furthermore the company has closed the cases as they to cover there backs in case anything goes wrong. Has this ever happened to anyone or can anyone advice me please?

Cassimin Wed 05-Aug-20 14:42:46

Can you not try to resolve the situation with the health professions and get your records changed and then reapply?

Mycatismadeofstringcheese Wed 05-Aug-20 14:54:20

In my experience of social workers and adopting (but not fostering) is that they always find a sticking point at some point in the process not to progress.

With my cynical hat on I think they want to find out how committed you are and if you’re prepared to discuss options and make changes. I’m sure lots of social workers will come in here and say that’s not true that they look reasons. It probably comes from my experiences of feeling I was having to jump through hoops that changed depending on which social worker we were talking to. Sometimes the “reasons” felt more like tests than reasons. Like they wanted to see how committed we really were.

So approach it openly and non defensively. Ask what specifically they are concerned about. E.g. is it hygiene, illness, allergies etc. and see if you can take some steps to mitigate those risks.

But people do foster with pets so it’s not a no go. It could be they want you to move them to a different room or do something differently. It could be that they are worried about dust from cages and you just need to demonstrate that you hoover regularly.

And good luck with your application.

catfat Wed 02-Sep-20 10:23:15

Hi. I have a cat (who does not jump up on my units). During my meeting with my SSW he actually spent more time asking questions about my cat than he did about the foster child!!! He hadn't asked that many questions on previous meetings, so maybe they have been told to be more alert with pets. Good luck

NWGreenhalgh Wed 02-Sep-20 13:47:35

If everything is as you say it is then it does seem a little bit odd that they would have an issue with that. Thinking aloud, I wonder if they might be using it as an excuse for why you might not be being progressed rather than explaining the real reason?

I really hope they find a way of making it work as having a few caged animals really shouldn't be a factor in your ability to be good foster carers.

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