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Two chiefs

Fulltime Foster Carer - Harriet author of: A Less Ordinary Family

Two chiefs

Alice – Fostering Blog


Every year we go away camping in the summer. We go to a place in Somerset where they run kids groups all day. Aside from the camping part it is great. I am not a natural camper, and it has to be said every year I question what on earth we are doing. I spend at least a month researching caravans – and hope that we could find one to be towed to our site – rather than having to go in a tent. I inevitably come to the conclusion that spending an extra £800 just to have a caravan for six nights is really not worth it, when we have a perfectly reasonable tent and that doesn’t cost anything extra!!

Once we get there and all is set up it its not too bad – well unless we get torrential rain like we did last year and half the tent gets flooded like last year… The first year we put a tent up, I thought we were going to have a divorce – there were many tears involved. I have learnt since then that you cannot have two chiefs. I like to be in control, and in putting up tents I need to take a bit of a back seat. mainly because I am just not tall or strong enough to do some of the setting up – so I really do have to let Charlie take over – it is certainly a lesson in humility for me!!

On the whole it has usually gone really well and surprisingly all the kids love it – even Alice!! They love all the activities, which are arranged by age – so they get time away from each other. We usually go with a group of people we know – so there are plenty of friends around to keep everyone company.

The one downside is that every year I go through the same rigmarole with the paperwork sent from the camp. I have the one issue of disability – Alice’s physical and learning disabilities – and I have to say the camp are amazing at catering for her needs and ensuring she is able to access everything, they even provide a one to one helper for her. However the paper work is another issue – they don’t seem to get the nuance of fostered children. They expect you to fill out the paperwork as though you have parental responsibility or that you are their legal guardian.

I know they are trying to cover their backs, but I cannot sign a waiver in advance to say they can have medical treatment. Every year I go through this with yet another new member of their staff – to say this simply isn’t necessary – in an emergency – doctors would give life saving treatment and consent would then be sign on a retrospective basis by social services – her legal guardians, they would not give such consent in advance.

Every year they sort the form out individually – but don’t think about the wording for the following year.

A Less Ordinary Fostering Family Blog.

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