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I'm a foster Carer - AMA

62 replies

JimBob61 · 13/08/2022 21:26

I've been reading the thread from the child protection social worker.
I have so much respect for SWs they are on their knees at the moment with ridiculous levels of cases.
I've been a FC for 18 years now and happy to answer questions if anyone is interested.

OP posts:
AmyandPhilipfan · 13/08/2022 22:14

When I started fostering the main carer had to give up work but apparently that changed a few years ago and my LA does accept carers with full time jobs. Personally I think that's a mistake. You just never know how many meetings you will have, how much time off school the child might need to take etc. I was on a course recently with a woman just going through the assessments and she was saying she was going to continue to work and use childcare. But sometimes the children can't cope in childcare and you don't really know until you get them.

JimBob61 · 13/08/2022 22:21

Mrs86

That's lovely of you.
It's hard to say without knowing the particular child and her background.
Although she's young she will almost certainly have some sort of trauma. I would give her time, the honeymoon phase is definitely a thing so don't be surprised if in the first few weeks she seems very settled then will possibly take an emotional dive it's perfectly normal and often means the child now feels secure enough to let her hurt show.
I would make sure she feels at home. Maybe let her have some input in bedroom decor, choosing meals and other family stuff.
Also put some time aside to focus on your son and have 1 on 1 time with him.
Good luck.

OP posts:
QuandaleDingle · 13/08/2022 22:25

Hi op

My neighbours are foster parents of 4 siblings ages 3-13, I always hear them shouting at them. I barely speak to them now. But when I did, the foster "mum" used to constantly slag off the eldest child something rotten plus try and tell me loads of info about the birth parents which i think should not be disclosed for safeguarding reasons. (I'd just rapidly change the subject or make my excuses and end the convo as it made me feel uncomfortable)

The foster kids also call them "mummy" and "daddy" which I personally find highly strange but I dunno 🤷‍♀️ is this a thing?

I suspect they probably only do it for the cash tbh and feel like reporting them - would you advise me to ?

Mrs86 · 13/08/2022 22:26

JimBob61 · 13/08/2022 22:21

Mrs86

That's lovely of you.
It's hard to say without knowing the particular child and her background.
Although she's young she will almost certainly have some sort of trauma. I would give her time, the honeymoon phase is definitely a thing so don't be surprised if in the first few weeks she seems very settled then will possibly take an emotional dive it's perfectly normal and often means the child now feels secure enough to let her hurt show.
I would make sure she feels at home. Maybe let her have some input in bedroom decor, choosing meals and other family stuff.
Also put some time aside to focus on your son and have 1 on 1 time with him.
Good luck.

Thank you. 🙂

JimBob61 · 13/08/2022 22:29

GnomeDePlume

I prefer to foster teenage girls which is good because most carers prefer younger children and SS always struggle to place the older young people.

We never intended to foster but one day dh and I saw a fostering recruitment stand and got chatting to the people manning it. We went home and discussed it and that was that.

Advice I would give myself would be try to make decisions with your head and not your heart. Sometimes you need to accept that a particular child isn't right for your family and it doesn't mean you've failed. Also take time out for yourself. It makes for a better carer.

OP posts:
JimBob61 · 13/08/2022 22:33

WheresMyMojo.

The checks are thorough but a dbs will only show want is on record.

I've known a couple of carers who, in my opinion shouldn't be anywhere near vulnerable children. In the case of your nephew's gf that is shocking and needs to be reported.

OP posts:
JimBob61 · 13/08/2022 22:36

SquirrelSoShiny
There is no better feeling than seeing a scared, traumatised child begin to feel safe and realise they have a great future ahead.

OP posts:
JimBob61 · 13/08/2022 22:38

DoubleShotEspresso

Our assessment took 18 months but that's because we took a break halfway through to deal with some family issues. The assessment normally takes about six months

OP posts:
JimBob61 · 13/08/2022 22:42

Purpleme12

The assessment was pretty brutal to be honest.

We needed to provide five references.
They check your finances.
They do a deep dive into every aspect of your life. I cried buckets talking about my shitty childhood and alcoholic father.

OP posts:
InTheFridge · 13/08/2022 22:43

I run a LA children's home. Thank you for everything you do.

I was wondering how you find the PIR's ? In my experience they are awful.

DoubleShotEspresso · 13/08/2022 22:44

Do you mean 5 financial references or are these for character/suitability ?

JimBob61 · 13/08/2022 22:46

TigerStripesRoarrr

Sadly there is very little emotional help offered.
We're lucky that dh and I have a very good relationship and support each other. Fostering hasn't negatively affected us.

OP posts:
purpleme12 · 13/08/2022 22:47

JimBob61 · 13/08/2022 22:42

Purpleme12

The assessment was pretty brutal to be honest.

We needed to provide five references.
They check your finances.
They do a deep dive into every aspect of your life. I cried buckets talking about my shitty childhood and alcoholic father.

This is what would put me off to be quite honest.

JimBob61 · 13/08/2022 22:53

QuandaleDingo

Yes I would report them.
A few of our children have called us Mum and Dad. We have two who have been with us for years and to us they are our children and will stay with us until they naturally want to move.

We don't encourage it but if the child wants to we just go with it.

OP posts:
JimBob61 · 13/08/2022 22:55

We needed two references from family members, two from employers and one from a person who had known us for at least five years.

OP posts:
AmyandPhilipfan · 13/08/2022 22:58

I only needed two references. They did do a credit check I think, and I had a medical but that was mainly a list of questions rather than any invasive procedures. I would say if you get references - ask the reference to keep a copy saved somewhere. The SW doing our assessment lost our references and I had to ask for them again which is annoying when your friends have been so helpful to do them in the first place!

My two foster kids call us mum and dad but that only started once it had been decided we would foster them to adulthood. For short term fostering that wouldn't be appropriate. For long term you go with the children's wishes.

ohyeahiwaittablestoo · 13/08/2022 22:58

Great thread, thank you!

Do you have biological children of your own? The daughter you adopted, how does she feel about foster siblings? How many kids would you have at once?

purpleme12 · 13/08/2022 23:00

@JimBob61 have you had any foster children say malicious lies about you?

Twixxed · 14/08/2022 07:56

Great thread, thank you. And thank you for everything you've done. My question is pretty basic... How big is your house?!

DoubleShotEspresso · 14/08/2022 12:01

No idea on the accuracy within the financials stayed here but thought this might be of interest here:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/aug/13/how-become-foster-carer-pay?CMP=ShareiOSAppp_Other

DoubleShotEspresso · 14/08/2022 12:11

*stated

JimBob61 · 14/08/2022 14:38

ohyeahiwaittablestoo

We have one biological child who was four when we started fostering.
One adopted dd
Two looked after dc who we've fostered since they were toddlers.
Then we have availability for two other children.
There's a massive shortage of carers and as we foster teens we are always full. So have six dc in our home.
They generally get on but obviously with so many different personalities and traumas dh and I have to keep a close eye on things and make sure all the children get 1-1 time with us to work through issues.

OP posts:
JimBob61 · 14/08/2022 14:41

Purpleme12

Sadly yes. Both dh and myself have had allegations made. The police and SS try as best they can to be supportive. But there is a process to be followed and to begin with the child must be believed. We've both been interviewed under caution and it's horrible.

OP posts:
JimBob61 · 14/08/2022 14:43

Twixxed

Our house is quite big. There are seven bedrooms and several reception rooms so everyone has there own space.

OP posts:
purpleme12 · 14/08/2022 14:49

JimBob61 · 14/08/2022 14:41

Purpleme12

Sadly yes. Both dh and myself have had allegations made. The police and SS try as best they can to be supportive. But there is a process to be followed and to begin with the child must be believed. We've both been interviewed under caution and it's horrible.

Wow I don't know how you do it.
Did they do the interview and then realise it wasn't true? Or what happened?

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