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Fostering with young children(11 Posts)
I am considering becoming a foster carer but my own dcs are still young (5yo, 4yo and 7 months). I would only want to foster babies as I think older children would be more difficult for my dcs. Would I be considered as a carer even though dc3 is so small still? Also, is there a demand for foster carers who will only take babies?
We had 3 dc's when we began fostering but our youngest was 4 years old so I'm not sure if the age of your youngest will be an issue.
We only foster newborns now and there aren't as many as with the older children but we usually have a little one most of the time.
Unless you live in an area where FC are very short, I think most LA's would probably ask you to wait until your youngest is 2 or 3 before starting the process.
Fostering does impact on your own kids more than you realise and I would always advise having a birth child of no younger than nursery age if just starting out.
I was asked to wait until DS is 4 years old - which is November of this year!
Thanks for replys. I have just spent 2 days in hospital with dd2 (she is fine) which has really made me realise that I can't make the commitment necessary to a foster child atm. It was relatively easy farming the others off onto friends while dh was working but would have been much harder with a foster child. My mum used to foster a while ago and I can remember she had to have a dedicated person to babysit.
i too would like to foster babies.
How do I find out more and how hard is it on your own children when the fostered babies leave?
My children are 10, 8 and 5 and are all in full time education.
Hi madusa your dc's are a similar age to ours when we began fostering ie 10 7 and 4.
You can find social services in the phone book and ask for the fostering service, they can usually give you any information you need.
Our 3 are now grown up but I can remember that it was very often extremely difficult for them when a little one left us, understandable really I suppose but I used to feel dreadfully guilty for putting them through the grief.
We have discussed this now they are adults and each of them have said they wouldn't have chosen a different way of life and that they found there were more ups than downs.
Madusa - there is an urgent need for foster carers, though for all aged children, not just babies. Your children are a good age to think of fostering. You really need to as Flower says to contact your social services dept and tak it from there. You do need to know however that there is a lot more to fostering these days than just looking after babies. There has to be contact with the birth parents, social workers and all sorts of others involved in the case.
You need to get as much info as you can from SSD and then if you are still interested you will be invited on to a Preparation course and learn about all aspects of fostering. If at any stage in the process you feel it is not for you then you can pull out without any committment. Incidentally your H/P has to be as motivated to foster as you are for obvious reasons.
After the prep course a social worker will do an in depth assessment of you and your H/P to consider your suitability to foster. You don't need to be perfect of course (as on one is) but you do need to be non judgemental, flexible, child centred, able to work as part of a team and a sense of humour helps. finally your case goes before a fostering panel for final approval.
People change their "offer" over time and many who start off only wanting babies will consider older children. However with your youngest at 5 there would need to be a 2/3 year age gap so at the moment you would probably be best thinking of 0 -2. You may not get as many placements with this age as there is moe need for older children but as your children grow, you may change your offer.
As for your children, yes they will be affected but not adversely necessarily. You will also get the opportunity to talk with experienced foster carers who I am sure can put your mind at rest about the effect on birth children. Yours are at a good age to be thinking of fostering, neither too young, nor teenagers who might not want young children messingup their stuff.
Good luck and be happy to help further if I can. I am a retired social worker with over 30 years experience in the field of fostering and adoption
I work as a maternity nanny and know a lot about babies hence the reason I'd rather foster babies and/or the very young. I also (naively?) think that there won't be as many negative issues with babies as I would hate for my children to have a tough time from older children.
A friend of mine is a social worker and she said that she would never foster as there isn't enough support from SS. How true is that?
If you have babies, do you need a spare room or do they sleep in with you? Up until what age do they sleep in your room (thinking night feeds etc)
Do you ever have problems with the natural parents resenting you for having their babies? Have any of the parents ever been violent or threatening?
Hi Madusa - as you are a maternity nanny (though not sure what that is - is it looking after newborns) then you would be very well placed to care for babies. You are probably right that ther won't be so many negative issues with babies as they are unlikley to have behaviour problems, as is sometimes the case with older children. However it is amazing how quickly some children adapt to positive parenting.
Re support from sws. this does vary between different local authorities. I think most foster carers will say that they don't get enough support from the child's sw (this is because they have an extremely heavy caseload) but that the fostering social worker is very supportive and available to them when necessary. Another good source of support is experienced foster carers who are usually only too pleased to help out new carers.
I think the D of H thinking on new babies is that they should be in the same room as a parent/carer for for the first 6 months, but am not 100% sure on this so check it out with SSD. If you are thinking of fostering though ideally you will need a spare room unless you are happy to have a cot sized child in your room.
Of course natural parents resent you for having their babies - they are only human you know. I think new carers often worry about violence from nat parents but this in my experience is very very rare and I can't think of a single case where this has happened. A lot depends on the carer really. The very best carers are those who can treat the nat parents with some respect though this is difficult when the children have been abused or neglected. You need to try to understand what drives parents to behave in this way and all of this is covered on the preparation course. Again experienced carers can put your mind at rest about these matters. A lot of nat parents are young immature couples who had not had any experience of good parenting themselves are simply not equipped to bring up a child. It often seemed to me that these young mothers needed fostering themselves!
You only need to meet the parents at meetings as mostly contact between the child and parent takes place outside of the foster home.
Incidentally any child will ideally need to be younger than your youngest so that they are not in competition with younger children so it is unlikely your children will have a tough time from older children.
Have a look on the Fostering Network website or British Agencies for Fostering and Adoption (BAAF) for useful information.
NanaNina, thank you so much for answering my questions
You have been a lot more positive than my SW friend
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