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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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 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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Dealing with attention-seeking behaviour…

The other day I heard myself saying it again, “You’re just trying to get my attention!” And I was right.

Child with megaphone...

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/hidesy

Kids’ behaviour can be infuriating. And never more so than when we know they’re pitching for our attention.

We’re busy. Life is busy! And yet they insist on saying and doing things just to stop us from getting stuff done. Or thats what it feels like.

So what’s this kind of behaviour all about?…

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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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