Successful fostering requires openness on all sides
It is crucial for foster carers to have all the information available about a child before they take responsibility for their care. There can be no compromise here.
It was a little startling therefore, to see a national survey which found that 23% of foster carers claim they are rarely given all the information they need.
There are occasions when people read what has been written down about a certain child and it can put them off, and that is unfortunate. If placements are going to work though, there has to be full disclosure.
Fostering is not about getting heads on beds, it is about achieving the best possible outcome – that is what everyone is striving for. This requires full openness and honesty by all parties involved.
Having the right information
For a successful fostering placement to work, a child and foster carer have to be well matched and you cannot do that without the right information. That is why we will never place a child if we don’t have the information we feel is necessary. This may slow things down but it also ensures better long term results.
With the right information from the beginning, foster carers are also given the best chance to prepare and, on a practical level, get off to the best possible start when the placement begins.
Most foster carer placements are actually planned (fewer are emergency placements) so it gives plenty of time for foster carers to get answers to all their questions beforehand. This involves more than just reading local authority reports.
We encourage all our foster carer to ask lots of questions of the child’s social worker. They are the person who knows that child best so it is a great opportunity to learn about the child and get to know both the good and bad.
Having the support
We, as your fostering agency, are here to support you as you do this. From the initial discussion about the prospect of taking a placement we are with foster carers every step of the way. We are there during that first meeting with the social worker, right through the planning process and on the day of the move itself. This gives foster carers a chance to tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience within our team at every stage.
This support continues afterwards too. We speak with our carers every day at the beginning of placement and we visit them once a week for the interim period. We also offer ongoing holistic support, which includes training, professional advice and emotional support, throughout the entire placement. This is what we believe gives every placement the best opportunity to work.
If you would like to know more about the matching process or the support available to foster carers, please take a tour of our website or get your questions answered directly by our team. Just contact them online or by phone by calling 0845 0740076.