Emma’s Fostering Blog
No one is disputing that Foster care is a difficult job.
As I have stated before I consider myself a professional. I feel I am an expert on my Foster son, I know all of his history without looking in a file. I know his diagnosis, how it grew, changed, shrunk, disappeared for weeks or months over the past 6 years.
I know what works, and what doesn’t in a range of situations, not only how it presents now but also during the times of many social workers before the current social worker. I know the triggers and how to manage and divert them. I have the knowledge of what he needs to become a successful care leaver. I think there are those who without knowing the child seem to wade in and make the wrong decisions or worse making those decisions because they want to save the Local Authority money, it’s not about the best interests of the young person. Unfortunately ticking boxes and focusing on paperwork rather than individuals is a too regular occurrence in many Local Authorities
Tom is 17 and he wants to remain with us past 18 and we want to keep him with us he is part of our family. I have concerns as he is not functioning at the age of his peers and I have to constantly guide him with his personal hygiene as, he is completely oblivious to taking care of himself and has to be told to change his clothes, help him with doing tasks. He is not streetwise, will talk to everyone, is too trusting and has to be encouraged and taken to appointments. He has Personal Independence payment (PIP) for help with his issues yet he never made the criteria for the disabled team.
The years have been difficult and frustrating but we stuck in there with him, he’s family now and despite everything he is a lovely young man with a great sense of humour. Discussing his options with his newly qualified Social worker she stated he could stay with us on Staying Put, I told her I will look at all avenues and this is why! Staying Put offers a reduced fee and allowance, the drop in income, was this fair considering the high level of need which isn’t likely to change overnight at 18. He would have to claim housing benefit to remain here by claiming benefits.
A day after Tom leaves care I will be his landlord and not entitled to any support. But worse if I can’t get another option how could I tell him he can’t stay- I couldn’t do that to him.
My thoughts are being considerate in caring about how your attitude affects those you interact with and Professionals being pleasant even during trying times. The transition into adulthood is difficult enough for any child let alone a young person moving from care to independence.