Skills to foster – what can you not accept – placements offered and turned down.

We  have been approved. We were contacted, by phone, by the Agency Decision Maker who explained that this would be followed up in a letter – which arrived a week ago . We are going to be Foster Carers, hopefully very soon.

The Form F process alongside our 5 days of Skills to Foster Training , have certainly given Peter and I food for thought. Most evenings we manage a walk after dinner and this is a great time to catch up on how we feel as we embark on this new adventure – fostering.

We are in agreement that there are some things that for us would be non-negotiable :

•as neither of us have ever smoked or used drugs we would prefer not to have a young person who has similar experience

•as I still have a full time demanding role in a school with a Local Authority Special Needs Unit we  don’t think we would be suited to supporting a Child with Special Needs.

•we would struggle to support a child who smeared faeces

As Peter is the main carer,  perhaps we would be better suited to having males rather than females. Peter was a stay at home dad to our two girls from birth and then an Early Years teacher so would be able to cope with most children.

To date we have already had a few phone calls from the placements team in relation to possible ( single ) matches, who need lengthy ( forever ) placements. So far we have felt that the young people offered to us would be better suited to other carers and have explained that we think our skill set would be better utilised elsewhere. 

One offer was for a teenager who had significant physical /  mobility issues and would have needed to have our Dining Room converted for use as a bedroom. This would not be feasible for us, as it would have had too big an impact on so much of our day to day living and organisation.

The act of turning away a placement ( in reality a child  in need)f eels really awkward, but Peter and I agree that the match needs to be right in order to take anything other than emergency, remand or short term placements. We have to stay strong, because the wrong placement could be disastrous for the child as well as for us.

I now have a list of questions in the back of my diary, in readiness for any calls from placement . This was suggested by an experienced carer who helped to deliver our skills to foster training. They described children coming in to placements on an emergency basis and there being no background information available and no initial placement meeting planned for several days.

I feel much more confident now, that I am prepared for that first call with the offer of a placement

Jayne Robbins – A Blogging Foster Carer.

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