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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on fostering.

form F1-contents?

(7 Posts)
alliwannado Fri 03-Jul-09 13:18:51

Hi there everyone, I am new to the board. We applied about 2mths ago now and just booked for a medical. We have decided to go with an agency because I have read/heard that support is better. Anyway a social worker has apparently been assigned to us and will be in contact soon and will start on this form F. Can anyone tell me whats in this Form F? What personnal/intrusive questions may be asked? I have heard they question sex life with husband etc, is this true? because I don't see it as relevant, relationship yes but not sex.

Anyone fostering with children of their own? I have 2 children (6 and 10) and wondering how do you cope with 3 or more children? SW did mention sibling group but I don''t think I could cope with a baby and toddler and 2 of my own.
I want to help children but has anyone had any negative comments from family/friends? Someone said to me it was 'selfish' my children would be affected and I should put them first. I don't feel this..... it can only be a good thing helping a child?
Would love to keep in touch with others fostering or going through the process.... anyone?

TEJQ Fri 03-Jul-09 15:34:52

Hi,

How well have you researched the IFA you are using? Traditionally IFA's get the harder to place children, i.e. usually either groups of three, or older, more challenging, or with disabilities/chronic health problems etc. as most LA's use their own FC as a priority because LA FC are cheaper. My LA will only use an IFA carer where the have no one available in-house, and usually that will be kids in the over 10 age group.

Have the agency told you whether they have carers without placements, and if so for how long?

With birth kids the age yours are I would have gone with the LA and opted initially for one child under 5. Always keep your own children the oldest and have a minimum 2 year gap between fosling age and your youngest IMHO.

TEJQ Fri 03-Jul-09 15:40:08

PS the Form F is basically what resuts from your prep training and homestudy. A comprehensive document running to as much as 50 pages detailing every aspect of your family, your lives and your health.

You will be asked challenging quesitons - but questions about frequency of sex are inappropriate, but questions about the strength of your relationship, including physical aspects are not taboo. You will need to write all about your childhood, experiences of being parented and of parenting yourselves etc. In short, everything about your lives and life history.

alliwannado Sat 04-Jul-09 19:12:20

Thanks Tejq. Never thought about asking about amount of carers without placements....a valid good question too. Have stated will only take children under 5 but they did say it will limit the amount of placements I may get and asked how about a 7yr old or similar, I did say no. Hmmm so may pros and cons about LA and agencies. I think it does depend alot on the LA.
Hmm home study programme sounds very invasive but I know it has to be.

chickenmama Sun 05-Jul-09 21:47:58

I agree with TEJQ - if I'd have known that I'd definitely have gone with LA. I've been approved almost 2 yrs with not one placement from the agency. I have a bc (toddler) and I do feel this is part of the problem (although location etc also come into it).

Other than that, I found the homestudy (form f) process to be very interesting. It gets you to really reflect on your life and I feel I learnt a lot doing it.

alliwannado Mon 06-Jul-09 11:04:47

wow chickenmama, 2 yrs waiting!!! I have thought I could be waiting a number of months but not yrs. God. Maybe its the agency? Its really difficult to know which agency to go with because theres nothing to go on, other than ofsted reports. Reason I chose not to go with LA is the support and financial reasons. It is a full time difficult job and do think carers should be rewarded accordingly. I just about scrap through so I know I couldn't survive with another child and less than £100 to support them. I just don't get it because the LA pay the agencies loads so why not give that to carers instead.

chickenmama Mon 06-Jul-09 20:10:16

The LAs pay the agency loads only when they have to, and I think in a lot of cases pull the children back to LA carers if they can be found. It really only seems to be harder to place children going to agencies. For the placement I'm about to get, the LA almost didn't agree the funding to pay via my agency as it is so much more than they'd pay an inhouse carer, but (thankfully!) they didn't have any other option in the end. They have said though in order for me to keep the child with me they would want to approve me themselves, so they only have to pay the agency fee for a short while.

When I went into this I too thought it would be a few months wait. The agency told me 6 months max. A year later I started enquiring elsewhere. I was about to go with my LA when this child came up and the only reason I stuck with my agency was because I knew this was the right child for me. If it wasn't for this placement I'd have gone to LA.

When the LA SW came out to see me the fees weren't actually that low. Less than I'd get with the agency but not a whole lot less. And I think you can get more once you've completed a qualification or take a child/children with a disability?? Have you spoken to anyone from the LA? Perhaps if you mention these concerns they might be able to offer some extra help/advice?

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