Friday’s Fostering Blog
Today we had the LAC (Looked After Child) Review for Alice. These are six monthly reviews held by the local authority and chaired by an IRO (independent reviewing officer) sharing information about Alice’s life over the last six months. Contributions are made by her local authority social worker, myself as her foster carer and my independent social worker, school teacher and SENCO (Special Educational Support Needs Coordinator) and contributions and sent in regarding her medical needs: including Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist and various consultants from the hospital.
I have always written a report in advance and sent to the relevant professionals. This means that my report can be read ahead of time which is one less thing for the professionals to do on the day, also if any questions arise they can get back to me before the review. I find these reviews very helpful to look back on the last six months – what has gone well, what has not gone so well and what progress has she made. It is also useful to look ahead to the next six months. We have a very capable and highly organised IRO. She is able to collate all of the information given and really get to the heart of where we are at with Alice. She is able to ‘push’ social services to take their responsibility in areas that they have, as well as ensuring Alice’s needs are being met in education and by the health professionals.
I have always found the IRO easy to work with and we are in the fortunate position that we have had the same reviewing officer for around four years – so she knows Alice well, she knows us well and she knows all of the professionals who work with her well. She has built up trust with us all and we really do feel like we are a team – working together to bring the best outcome for Alice. As I re-read The highlights of my report at the meeting, I am surprised with how much has been achieved over the last six months. It is quite cathartic, and for that reason alone the meeting is well worth the effort of travelling across the city to get to. I also very much appreciate the contributions sent in by very busy professionals and the time that the SENCO and class teacher take out of their day to join us for the meeting. Today was pretty straight forward and other than agreeing to some elective surgery later in the year, nothing was a surprise.
A Less Ordinary Family Foster Care Blog