Permanent fostering

(33 Posts)
lostonline Tue 23-Apr-13 20:57:15

Not sure if I should post here or on fostering pages but adoption seems to be more appropriate. We have been matched to two sisters who are both school age and have been hoping to start intros soon. However the current foster carers are not happy with the match and its becoming very difficult. Hoping to finally meet them tomorrow but trying not to get my hopes up. Does anyone have any advice or ideas ?

fasparent Tue 23-Apr-13 22:42:23

Hi been fostering for 38 years. Foster carer's should be non judgmental, they would have taken no part in selection or matching , would just be quite follow their guidance , know it may seem difficult and make you feel uneasy, ask all you can about the children how they are socially , what fun things they like, how do foster carer's settle them at night , what sooths them when they get upset etc. favourite food, drinks, TV
toys, Sisters will play with each other hopefully and will take the edge off things, would relax remember it's you of perhaps many that has been
finally matched.
We have just finished intro's and travelled across the country with a child who has settled well. Like happy ending, getting soppy, but experienced many over the years.

lostonline Wed 24-Apr-13 06:41:12

Thanks for your advice - hoping today will go well. We have asked for a social worker to be there and hopefully if the girls are happy they will be too. I just want the first meeting to be happy and stress free. They are very fond of the girls and I understand it will be hard for them to say goodbye - it's not nice to feel like the bad guy !

Kewcumber Wed 24-Apr-13 09:54:57

Others have succesfully adopted where foster carers were unhappy with the match and its worked out just fone (not with foster carers but with children!) Hopefully one of them will come along and post when they have a chance.

Good luck today.

Devora Wed 24-Apr-13 21:00:26

Hi lostonline, sorry I'm not clear about whether your match has been approved at Panel? Is the fc's disapproval based on any new or substantive facts or has she just taken against you? What does your sw have to say about it? Is there any question that a sw WON'T be at the first meeting?

Oh, just realised that your introduction meeting was today! How did it go?

I had a hostile fc, which made life very difficult for awhile. If today was gruesome, then I'm happy to share stories. But the main thing I want to say is that you must try not to let this interfere with your time with your new daughters. The fc is a detail that will pass. Your family is forever.

lostonline Wed 24-Apr-13 22:34:10

Thanks for your replies. We met the girls this afternoon at the foster carers house and it went well. We answered the girls questions and went through our introduction photo book. All the social workers are happy and supportive. Our SSW came with us today but the girls took over so all much calmer. Not sure what foster carers problem is. Yesterday they were angry and shouting that they want nothing to do with us seeing the girls but today they were ok
The girls are lovely and I am concentrating on that !

Devora Wed 24-Apr-13 22:51:02

Oh, I'm so glad it went well smile

Absolutely right to keep concentrating on the girls. Once this is over, you can reflect on what is going on there (and have a right old dissection on here if you want to).

Are you seeing the girls again tomorrow? How long do introductions last?

fasparent Thu 25-Apr-13 00:08:50

So pleased everything went OK for you both, as i thought children took the lead, this is usual , exciting time for them. Sure you will be a great mum, congratulation's again

lostonline Thu 25-Apr-13 05:52:30

Seeing the eldest today at her school as we to make plans for the change if schools. Intros will last as long as they have to at the moment the girls are leading the way with a sort of plan of a half term move.
Feeling a bit freaked out this morning but its been off and on so many times that its hard to believe its going to happen

fasparent Thu 25-Apr-13 10:26:07

Just have too relax, chill, Look at what's best, Look at promoting children's self esteem, Inclusion's, pride, use lots of praise giving them choices within reason. Keep notes and a daily record at this stage , can bin it later, children may be experiencing thing that they have done before, inclusion's being one. Good luck.

lostonline Thu 25-Apr-13 14:34:17

Thanks - all great advice - half term looks to be the planned date. Looking forward to a quiet and calm week to get to know each other

NanaNina Sun 28-Apr-13 18:16:21

Oh so sorry you are going through this "lostonline (retired sw and tm mgr of fostering & adoption team here) As others have said it is not up to the foster carers to approved the match, though it is difficult for fcs when they have grown fond of the children, but presumably can't or are not suitable to keep them on a permanent basis.

I am wondering who is telling you about the fc's feelings, and that they were angry and shouting yesterday but ok today. I hope this isn't a sw, because if so that is very unprofessional. He/she should be taking this up with the fc's link worker, not passing this on to you, if this is what is happening. The fcs may well need support to help them come to terms with the girls leaving, but they also need to be told that one of the most important things is that the girls feel that the fcs are happy about the move and they will be going with their good wishes, which will make life easier for the girls. The fc's don't have to feel this way, but they need to get their feelings out in a safe place with someone who understands and then get on with the business of making a smooth transition in the best interests of the girls.

I don't understand why intros are "taking as long as they have to" and the "girls are leading the way" - this isn't something that the children should be leading. There is no research to indicate that long intros lead to better outcomes. What half-term do you mean - the week at the end of May (Spring bank holiday? ) I suppose that would fit better if it means a change of school, but given the attitude of the fcs it seems to me that this half-term should be a definite.

Hope all works out well for you and the girls.

Mutley77 Mon 29-Apr-13 03:04:01

It is very difficult when fc's don't support the move but at the end of the day it is not up to them! You are doing the right thing to focus on the needs of the children and gain support from your ssw. FWIW I think the presence of a sw during intro's with difficulties like these is important and should be facilitated as often as possible. It then doesn't allow space for the FC's to be unprofessional or difficult towards you. The professionals managing the case should be fully aware of the situation and the appropriate person (their link worker) supporting the FC's to manage their feelings appropriately particularly where the children are concerned.

I would agree with Nananina that these intro's sound much too long. If this were one of my cases (I am an adoption ssw) I would be advocating to speed up the intro's to the shortest possible time scale as it could be damaging to be in limbo for so long especially if the FC's are not fully on board. Can you discuss that with your ssw and get his/her views?

Good luck.

lostonline Mon 29-Apr-13 10:58:49

The delay is whilst schools are sorted as its a county move and also involves special needs. This probably should have been sorted before the intros but as they are older and have been waiting a long time it wasnt.
We took them out with our own kids yesterday and no FCs and we all had a great time. They did ask if they could come home with us today but I explained that we need to sort schools properly and they seemed ok.
25th May is the agreed date - set by current FC !
Thanks for your replies

Mutley77 Mon 29-Apr-13 15:55:24

My recommendation as a ssw is that children have at least a few weeks out of school when moving to a new placement anyway - obviously depending a bit on their age and stage.

I would still suggest floating the idea of speeding things up if you are struggling - another month is going to be ages. And WHY is the current FC setting the date?!!!!!

Ok I will let you get on with it - not my case smile Glad you had a good day.

NanaNina Mon 29-Apr-13 17:06:15

Totally agree with Mutley why on earth is the current FC setting the date - it's not on. I can only assume that their link worker is afraid of upsetting them and if this is the case, then that's just dreadful, because it is the needs of the children that must come first.

I think these children need moving sooner, rather than later and yes they could have a few weeks off school, as it is far more important that they settle with you before starting a new school.

KristinaM Mon 29-Apr-13 21:50:11

2 weeks is long enough for introductions for children of this age. I also agree that they should have a few weeks off school, it will make no difference to their education in the long run and it will help attachment. It's important they have time alone with you without your other children around .

If the panel has approved the match they should move in ASAP

lostonline Tue 07-May-13 08:18:59

No improvements here - everyone just says we only have 3 weeks to go but it's making us miserable and the kids anxious. Need to call SW today to discuss but scared we will just make it worse. The only happy people at the moment are the current foster carers. They brought the girls to us on Sunday at 11 hung around till 12 and then wanted them back at 4. Since the main anxiety seems to be changing schools we did a quick drive round both schools, fed them and that was it

Mutley77 Tue 07-May-13 12:43:10

So sorry to hear this. FWIW the visit to you sounds to have followed a fairly normal pattern for a first visit - however IMO it should be followed this week by a speeding up and a move.

How are you and your partner managing this drawn out process with time off work etc?

I am really surprised that your link social worker is not pushing to move things faster - good luck with the conversation.

TeenAndTween Tue 07-May-13 21:04:05

Our eldest was nearly 8, we had 4 weeks intros. This was too long for pre-school younger sister, but OK for eldest. however, they were with us for 5 nights of the last 7, so in lots of ways it was 3 weeks intro.

If possible, I would look to move 1-2 weeks before half term, and keep off school until after half term, possibly a bit longer. Stress the impact the toing and froing is having on the children.

Roshbegosh Tue 07-May-13 21:19:18

Did the FCs suggest that date because it's half term? Maybe it will be helpful having the week to move without school to deal with. Ultimately, as a FC myself, it is not their place to dictate these things. I think they may have suggested rather than set the date.

Nothing to add as a total newbie here but just wanted to wish you all the very best.

Can I ask how old your birth children are?

We have a birth DD aged 8 and hope to adopt a three or four year old.

All the best.

lostonline Wed 08-May-13 07:55:50

Hi my birth children are 15, 18 and 20. The eldest is at uni but seems to be mostly here on holiday !
We were asked to put it all in writing yesterday and we requested a meeting after school as only seeing them on Sundays is not enough.
We have seen them 4 times now and I really think they will fit in well. The 25th is the start of half term so we will have a week at home before school starts. It does seem alot of change in a short time.
We are both self employed so we have always fitted work in when we can.
SW was going to visit the girls to make sure they are OK last night
Counting down the days now ! 17 to go
Thanks for your replies

The fact they are asking to come to your house is a great sign, I think.

KristinaM Wed 08-May-13 08:39:58

I'm sorry but I simply can't understand what's going on here. The intros shouldn't be led by the children or approved by the foster carers. They should be led by the agency,taking account of the children's needs. Is your SW very inexperienced? Why are the FCs being allowed to shout about not wanting the children to move?

As far as I can see, intros here are far too long and Visits too short and infrequent. The children should be moved now and have several weeks off school before starting their new schools in June. It's very unfair to leave them in limbo like this

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