Emma’s fostering blog
Reading about the state of our social care over the last year it really worries me, I fear we seem to have lost sight of why children are coming into Foster care, how society has changed.
The system is there for children who need protection as they are at risk of abuse, neglect or orphaned. Surely it’s not about penalising families for being poor, being poor doesn’t mean you don’t love your children or have the same aspirations for your child as the next person.
I find myself wondering why there are such high numbers coming into care, could it be the relentless government cuts over many years to benefits, or the many services that helped so many vulnerable families that have been closed, now we see parents who are working struggling to make ends meet and visiting food banks. How much does it cost to put a child in care, surely in the long run it’s better to support families that are suffering hardship and wherever possible keep children with their own families, with their mums and dads! All children should go back to their families when safe to do so.
I have seen many times the Local Authorities who want carers to take children on Special guardianship orders, although this might be a good outcome for the child, I sometimes wonder if that is the reason for this sudden drive.
It’s a personal choice as I don’t believe anyone should do this under pressure without considering all the facts.
When you ask around there are many different experiences, at support group a carer raised an issue about his Social Worker asking if he would be interested in a Special Guardianship Order. The carer explained this worried him because this had been brought up a couple of years ago and he was advised by the child’s Independent Reviewing Officer and the previous Social worker it would not be in his best interest as the child has complex health and developmental needs, and he would not get the support he was getting at the time.
Now he was worrying after a conversation with his new worker that if he told them he didn’t want to go this route the child would be moved to someone that would.
Many carers attended and a very good discussion followed; what would the child want, will it be until till 18, the support required including respite, expectations around birth family, means tested yearly, was it counted as income when claiming benefits, guaranteed financial support and would this be to 18 or if a child with complex needs 25.
Consider adoption with financial support and a care plan. Plus sides; you get overall parental responsibility, securing his place in the family, not having changes of workers wanting to change.
My thoughts are as each child is unique, this should be in the best interests of the child, and these points need to be fully discussed as there are many questions to ask and things to consider.
Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!