Fostering – Planning transition.
I know as a Foster Carer that many of our looked after children and care leavers face unfair and unjust discrimination. Most have to deal with personal issues of low self-esteem, low self-confidence and low achievement expectations, alongside having to fight against negative stereotypes and the expected failure. My point is as adults we have to challenge this negativity. This is hard for anyone, never mind a young person who is most likely to be in a vulnerable position or lacking in security or stability.
The summer holidays are over, it was more relaxed this year – while I was away I was reflecting on the previous year when my young person was going through transition, it was an unsettling time for him and we had many challenges to get this right for him. I have been working with Adam towards his independence from day one and by his 17th birthday together we had completed a checklist and linked this into his Pathway plan.
I’m very proactive so the transition wasn’t too rocky but I know of Foster carers who have not been proactive, workers leaving and so relying on the system and the young person left waiting until after their 18th birthday to see what’s happening, this is terrible practice, really unsettling for a young person and as a Foster carer you need to know the plan in advance so they know what is happening, sometimes I have to challenge the system and be that pushy parent.
Adam is now happy, safe, stable and achieving in all areas of his life and has remained under ‘Staying Put’ (The young person will no longer be a looked after child and will be classed as another adult within the fostering home).
It’s great, we can still give him the guidance he needs and we remain very much part of his journey – he would say for him to succeed it took two people to believe in him – us. I also believe having a good Independent reviewing officer (IRO) that knew us and supported us really helped to make this so positive for him, we had changes of workers but the IRO was the foundation. Being a Foster Carer can be difficult and challenging but also very rewarding when I look back to how he was, to how he has become today and has left care as a confident young man, I know we have done a good job, and we are so proud of him.
My thoughts are – There are not enough Foster Carers offering ‘Staying Put’ Why not! A stable family home can be guaranteed at a crucial transitional period in the lives of some of the most vulnerable Young People in our society.
Emma’s fostering Blog
Emma a foster carer – I Love What I Do!