Advanced search

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

Thinking about giving notice on our placement

(38 Posts)
freddiefrog Sun 13-Jan-13 20:09:25

I really really don't want to. I really don't want to be yet another person who has let my FC down, but I really don't know what to do anymore. Maybe a good old whinge will make me feel better.

Our LA is useless, I can't quite describe just how useless they are. Useless doesn't quite cover it.

My FC has been with us several months and still hasn't been transferred from the short-term team to the looked after team, we've had no LAC review, and our FC doesn't even have a social worker at present.

The make promises they don't keep, lie to our FC, never return calls and basically have had no input in their care since they've been here. Everything that has been done has been done by us and our SSW. They break their own rules when it suits them, they totally undermine anything we are trying to do

FC is supposed to have a YOT worker, a drug and alcohol worker, an education welfare officer, but we've had no contact or input from anyone. Despite almost daily phone calls from me, we've never spoken to any of them. FC has a conditional discharge for shoplifting - part of this discharge was that she attend counselling and YOT appointments

In the beginning it wasn't too bad, we didn't really need anyone as FC settled in well and was behaving well. No problem.

We've had a horrific month with them - FC has been drunk pretty much every day, arrests for shoplifting, drunken behaviour, assault, posession of drugs, more shoplifting, absconding 5 days out of 7, etc, etc. LA refuse to send out an appropriate adult when she's arrested so we are pressurised by the police to do it - it's against the LA's own policies for anyone who has not done the AA training to do it

Culminating in this weekend, a fear that FC was going to run away with a friend and the police putting an alert out to all bus and train stations.

Still nothing from the LA

We were told by the police on Friday that our FC associates with a known sex offender (the person they were concerned FC was going to run away with), information that has been known by the police and social services for several months - no one told us! (the police thought we had been informed by SS months ago) We don't know their name, what they look like or anything. The thought that our FC may have bought this person to our house where our 2 young girls live makes me feel sick.

I can't cope with this anymore. Social Services have dumped our FC and left us to get on with it.

I've put in an official complaint, hopefully that will shake them up a bit, but if nothing happens we're going to have to seriously discuss giving notice on our placement as it's putting our own daughter's at risk now.

I don't know what else to do now

Hassled Sun 13-Jan-13 20:37:16

I wish I knew anything at all about fostering and so was able to give you some advice - I just spotted this in Active Conversations. All I can tell you as someone who knows nothing is that you're right - right to be furious at the lack of LA support and right to need/want to protect your daughters. Would it be worth emailing a version of your post to your local MP? This is a link telling you how to find the details.

The very best of luck - I will be thinking of you. And I'm in total awe of you and how much you've clearly fought for your FC already.

Hassled Sun 13-Jan-13 22:30:41


freddiefrog Sun 13-Jan-13 22:52:33

Thank you!

My SSW and I got together over the weekend to put the complaint together so it will hit them tomorrow morning. Will see what happens tomorrow.

I know our MP so I'll see what he says

It's just all a complete mess.

Our FC brings their friends home sometimes, they're a member of our family so we treat them the same. I actually feel sick that this person may have been in our house, sat at our dinner table, spoken to my children and all along social services knew this person was in our FC's life and didn't see fit to mention it or warn us.

Oodsigma Sun 13-Jan-13 22:53:17

Has your SSW raised this with senior managers? Someone should be.
YOT /EWO etc are all different depts here so would be separate chasing but worth speaking to managers of each.
Do you know an IRO from previous placements? Someone you could phone?
Also get the child an advocate , try NYAS.

freddiefrog Sun 13-Jan-13 23:20:02

Yes, ssw has tried to raise it with the managers - he's had the same problem I have - we call Children's Services and get an answer phone, we leave messages which are then completely ignored, the phone is never answered, it's always a machine. His emails are ignored. Even the police are ignored.

The EWO is based in the same building on the same phone number, but yes, YOT are different but just aren't doing anything - FC is supposed to be seeing them as part of her conditional discharge

I'll look into the advocate

What's an IRO? FC was at previous carer for a really short period of time before FC had to be moved on so there isn't much information other than FC was fine and moved on due to carer circumstances (not fc's behaviour)

It's all such a bloody mess, hopefully a complaint may shake them into action


Oodsigma Sun 13-Jan-13 23:34:17

Independent reviewing officer -each CLA should havevone, they chair the CLA reviews.

Can't your SSW get direct numbers for people? Or are you agency? I was assuming the SSW was from the LA as well.

freddiefrog Sun 13-Jan-13 23:56:26

Oh, sorry, agency.

I thought I'd put that in the op.


Oodsigma Mon 14-Jan-13 07:11:03

No it's ok, we dont see a lot of agency here so it's not instinct to remember they exist blush

freddiefrog Mon 14-Jan-13 12:08:54

I thought I'd included it in the op to be honest, but I went through it and took some bits out and must have deleted it without realising.

Well, absolutely nothing from SS today. Both myself and SSW have been on to them several times and no calls have been returned.

Another night from hell with FC. FC failed to return home last night so I reported them missing and was told to expect visit from police and a social worker, sat around until 1am waiting for call back from police and SS, had to chase up myself to be told no action was being taken. Phone call from police at 3am to say FC had been found and they would be bringing FC back. Police drop FC off and inform me they'd been found at the person's address, and the person had been arrested for breaking terms of a no-contact order that no one had bothered to tell me existed.

Further conversation revealed that the LA had had meetings with the police on Friday and we were supposed to have welfare visits from SS over the weekend 1 Friday night, 2 Saturday and 2 Sunday - we didn't have as much as a phone call.

Reported everything to LA OOH after police left, whose only response was to get snotty about how much sending an OOH social worker out at a weekend would cost them

I am so glad we fostered with an agency (we initially tried to go with the LA but they just told us to register with an agency) as at least we are getting help and support from our SSW.

Oodsigma Mon 14-Jan-13 12:18:35

I would go quite high up to complain. Get contact details (email prob best) for someone higher up and list your queries/concerns.
Child should have a SW/stat visits, when I was working with CLA we'd visit ( or at least speak to child & FC) after each runaway/ police involvement.
They should be having CLA meetings (first within 38 days of moving in , then 3 months).
Arm yourself with facts (& proof when possible).

Same for EWO&YOT. If you can get one lot involved they might push the others.

freddiefrog Mon 14-Jan-13 12:28:43

SSW is going to contact the local government ombudsman today to see if we can bypass some of the complaints procedure as SS conduct has been so bad and in some cases illegal (no LAC review)

I've got detailed notes of every conversation, attempted phone call, etc. pages and pages of every person I've ever spoken to, names, incident reports and all sorts so SSW is writing a comprehensive report


Oodsigma Mon 14-Jan-13 12:40:16

Good luck!

YourHandInMyHand Mon 14-Jan-13 12:45:43

Bloody hell this is appalling! shock

Hope you get things resolved freddiefrog.

Fosterangel Mon 14-Jan-13 17:28:48

You are doing a sterling job supporting this fc. I really hope that some managers get a good shake up and find you the services you need to keep this f/child safe.

Do not blame yourself if you throw in the towel. Sad as it is, you are not the cause of your f/child's dangerous behaviour. The risk to your own birth child is unacceptably high and I would be fuming too. You have done your best but one good person cannot manage alone - you really need all those agencies involved and protecting your f/child from themselves.

If anyone has let this f/child down it is the LA, Drug and Alcohol services and YOT. Shame on them.

underworld888 Mon 14-Jan-13 20:04:51

Hi Freddiefrog

Just read ur post and we are going through nearly the same thing we work with a IFA and have had a 15 yrs fc the last 4 months, the only difference is he does have YOT worker and YSMART worker but he never turns up to see them and at the moment not even turning up for school, we have tried everything.

He also goes missing often, comes home drunk or stoned of his face, we have tried talking to him he listens and says all the right things back and the next day back to square 1 or worse.

I have e-mailed his LA SW 11 times since xmas and rang( having always to leave a text message) and I have not had one reply.

Today I got a phone call to say it was the fc new SW and the other one had moved job (well thanks for the warning), she said she will be more involved and hopefully she will, but like you feel like i can't help him anymore, this is our 1st placement and its very hard.

This weekend we have been sworn at and he can be very intimidating as he is a big lad, and when we do or say something he doesn't like he goes verbally abusive using his size.

We are all have a meeting tomorrow so hopefully will get sorted it can't carry on like this.

Sorry got no advise just coping as well :-(

So I do understand a bit what u are going through.

freddiefrog Tue 15-Jan-13 09:19:42

Thank you

Sorry you're having a tough time too underworld

I just feel we've reached the end of the road here. FC cannot sustain their lifestyle and nothing we're doing is making a difference, our children are at risk and we just can't cope with this anymore.

We also have the saying all the right things, then carrying on in their own sweet way too. FC is no problem at home, but as soon as they're out the shit hits the fan, and there's no consequences for their actions. I was hoping they'd get tagged at their last court hearing but they just extended the conditional discharge (for the 3rd time)

FC absconded again last night, another late night (early morning) phone call from the police asking me to pick FC up, finally got into bed at 3am and then get up at 7 to deal with my 2. Out of hours flatly refused to pick her up and police refused to bring her home. This is happening virtually every night

I'm exhausted, on the verge of a massive meltdown all the time, dealing with all this on our own is just not sustainable.

With the backing of our SSW, last night we told FC that the door would be locked at 11.30pm (curfew is 11pm) and that was that. We told the police no calls after midnight any problems they'd have to deal with out of hours - totally ignored

No contact from anyone at all yesterday, and got the answer phone again this morning.

Just sick of it all now

Fosterangel Tue 15-Jan-13 09:40:50

If it helps we also reached the end with a foster teen recently. We had nearly 3 years of disturbed behaviour (bed wetting/eating disorder/no peer friendships/passive aggressive hostility to our family/hiding soiled underwear). We just coped because we were fond of the fc and hoped for a breakthrough which never came. We did not have open aggression or drugs/alcohol issues but we did experience the feeling of having the fc dumped on us with no support for some difficult behaviours.

When we asked our LA for CAMHS (as per our fc's Care Plan for help with the eating issues and attachment issues) we were told by the manager of our LA that until the fc attaches there would be no point so we got no help. I am wondering if the unwillingness of the YOT and drug/alcohol team to get involved is because the LA fears wasting their cash if the child is not attached and/or wanting the help and willing to engage to make the changes?

We did not have the issue of our own birth children being put at risk. That takes the risk above acceptable to me. I find it hard to swallow that social services would present a situation so risky to your own children.

freddiefrog Tue 15-Jan-13 10:10:12

Thanks. I actually feel a lot better for having a bloody good moan about it.

I've just had a phone call from social services, thrown all my toys out of my pram and told them they need to get here to see FC today or I'll be giving notice.

They're on their way!

I think YOT, etc may be thinking the same thing to be honest. FC says all the right things, but doesn't engage in any way, they just agree to get us off their back. SSW and us have put so much help her way but she just agrees then doesn't do any of it.

I'd booked a Dr's appointment for yesterday as FC says they're depressed - absconded Sunday night and didn't come home so didn't attend appointment. SSW has organised a drug & alcohol counsellor to come here - FC went out 10 minutes before counsellor was due.

YOT is actually part of FC's Conditional Discharge terms though, so they should at least contact us for appointments, then if FC doesn't attend them, put proper sanctions in place.

FC says they want to change their life, go to school, get some qualifications, give up the drink and drugs and bad behaviour, but when push comes to shove they just don't do it. FC's next court appearance is for breaking into a pub's storage shed and stealing crisps. I mean really? Was it really worth it for crisps? Probably, because the Court doesn't ever seem to clamp down on this behaviour and just extends the CD

FC hasn't gone to school today as they "can't be bothered to get out of bed" (they're only there 2 mornings a week). Well, I wasn't that enamoured at getting out of bed at 2am to go and collect them from the police station again to be honest

FC needs help and I don't want to give up on them, and we could cope with all of it, if the LA just helped us out.

Put proper procedures in place with proper sanctions if FC doesn't stick to them. Send out an OOH SW when we need one and not quibble about money, call us occasionally to see how we're doing. The authorities do not act as one, the police say one thing, SS say another and we're caught in the middle of it.

Sorry, ranting again. We'll see what happens when SS get here


Panadbois Tue 15-Jan-13 13:36:32

Bloody hell, don't blame you at all for feeling this way.

Stick to your guns. This problem is not of your making so why should you kill yourself trying to sort it out?

Good luck x

freddiefrog Tue 15-Jan-13 15:07:01

Thank you.

Well, we've done it.

SS came earlier and met with us and our SSW & FC.

FC was quite clear that neither of them will cut contact with the sex offender friend and doesn't care about us or the risk to our kids. We felt the risk is too high so we've given 28 days notice.

Our SSW wants to get it terminated immediately as he feels that our FC will try to sneek said person into our house and the risks to my daughters (especially the eldest) were too much

We at least know their name and have seen their picture now - and yes, they have been in our house

I feel terrible, but we've given it our best shot and my daughters are too important to keep flogging a dead horse

freddiefrog Tue 15-Jan-13 15:10:27

Sorry, that was gibberish. Should say

FC was quite clear that neither FC or sex offender friend will cut contact with each other and doesn't care about us or the risk to our kids. We felt the risk is too high so we've given 28 days notice.

Oodsigma Tue 15-Jan-13 15:30:40

How old are your dds?

Panadbois Tue 15-Jan-13 15:31:36

You've done what you can. Move on and get an easier placement next so as not to put you off forever!

lovesmileandlaugh Tue 15-Jan-13 15:32:54

Oh Freddie, that is awful!

I'd feel sick of the idea of a known sex-offender not only around my children, but also that other people (social services, police) knew and didn't tell you.
I'm not a complainer, I know how stretched resources are, but I really think that is a mistake that needs seriously looking at and something put in place to ensure that no more foster families birth children are KNOWINGLY put at risk like that.

I think I would also want somebody trained to talk to my birth children, to ensure they've not been abused or witnessed something they shouldn't have. De-briefing if you like.

Of course I have sympathy with FC, but you must protect your younger birth children. I think you should put your foot down and say it is time for her to move on now.

It must be hard, but you are absolutely doing the right thing.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now