A wish list from foster care

13 things carers want from fellow professionals...

What do foster carers want?

Photo courtesy of ©️123rf/Scott Griessel

After responding in-depth to a previous post, I asked Melody Barrow to write her wish list – the things that she and her fellow foster carers want to say to other professionals, particularly to social workers.

Here’s what she wrote…

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My Name is Leon (Penguin, 2017)

Image courtesy of ©Penguin


My Name is Leon


Kit de Waal


Opinion in short:

This one is a beauty.

It’s about the journey of an 8 year old boy into foster care. It’s both a moving and uplifting book. It might be about “work stuff” for many of us – but it reinforces all the reasons why we do the job – to help troubled kids get through tough stuff!


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The State of Foster Care

Fostering Network's 2016 report...

I’m a passionate believer in the value of foster care.

In fact I think it’s the Gold Standard for helping troubled kids who can’t live at home.

Image courtesy of ©123rf/Kateryna Davydenko

So what sort of state is the nation’s fostering system currently in?

So, how’s fostering doing?…

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Why foster carers deserve more respect

And how the rest of us can give it...

Three quarters of children in the Looked After system are living with foster parents.

Foster carers provide this country with an unequalled service.

Photo courtesy of ©123rf/Alena Yakusheva (adapted)

Photo courtesy of ©123rf/Alena Yakusheva (adapted)

So why are foster carers not more respected?

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Family Contact for LAC Children

When enough is enough...

Do I believe in human rights? Absolutely.

Do I believe in parents’ rights when their kids are in care? Absolutely. But…

Photo courtesy of ©123rf/Katarzyna Białasiewicz (adapted)

Photo courtesy of ©123rf/Katarzyna Białasiewicz (adapted)

Are there times when parents’ rights should be limited and contact should stop? I believe there are.

Here’s why…

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Why foster care is the Gold Standard…

...for helping troubled kids to recover...

Troubled kids need help. But what is the best way to do this?

Image courtesy of ©123rf/Frenk & Danielle Kaufmann (adapted)

Image courtesy of ©123rf/Frenk & Danielle Kaufmann (adapted)

I’ve worked with kids in a number of roles, including: as a youth worker, a social worker, a case manager, a court officer, a therapist, as a YOT supervising officer and review meeting chair.

But I reckon there’s one approach, one role that beats them all.

Why foster care is the gold standard of child care…

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Why foster carers should have all the info on each child they look after…

Surely foster carers know everything they need to know before a child comes to live with them… Don’t they?

Well, no. Not always.

Photo courtesy of ©123rf/Oleksandr Nebrat (adapted)

Photo courtesy of ©123rf/Oleksandr Nebrat (adapted)

In fact, quite often they are not told key things that relate to safety.

Why we should come clean with foster carers…

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Why finger-wagging doesn’t work…

Worse than our shame at doing something wrong, is the knowledge that someone we care about is unhappy with us.

Parent telling off a child...

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/_Ella_

This is the case with young people too. They know full well that they’ve done something they shouldn’t have.

But they also know that we, and others, are unhappy about it.

Why our unhappiness is crucial (& dangerous)…

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Foster care – agenda for change…

Today there are about 64,500 children being Looked After by local authorities in the United Kingdom.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/AlexRaths

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/AlexRaths

Some of these will be “in care” for short periods, whilst families push through their problems and the children can return home.

For some, their stay in the care system will be a lot longer.

Sadly, for a significant minority, local authority care will be permanent.

Why these kids need foster families…

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Myth-busting fostering & adoption…

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/LisaValder

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/LisaValder

I met a woman the other week. She approached a stall I was working on; we were trying to recruit foster carers.

We talked briefly and I shared a little of my personal experience of fostering and adoption.

She and her partner had been through the whole shooting match of heartbreak that surrounds childlessness. At the end, she said they had no emotional energy left to adopt. It would all take too long and they just couldn’t face it.

What a great shame. Someone who really wanted children. Lots of children in need of families. But no happy ending.

Myths that spoil the happy ending…

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