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Problem Foster Care Blog

Fostering Blogger – Fosterman

We are on the finishing straight now regarding exams and you can see that James (name changed) is running out of steam. It’s been a very hard few weeks for him, for one reason or another, and he looks like he can’t wait for it to be over.

I think, and hope, that I have provided all the support that he has needed and I’m not sure how he would have coped without Paige helping him plan out revision and assisting with things he wasn’t sure of. I was worried that she would neglect her own work but Paige was one of those girls who you just knew would succeed in anything she did.

Yesterday, Wednesday, I had a call from James’ Social Worker for a catch up and to discuss, further, the SGO that they wanted to offer. She asked how James was doing with his exams and I replied that he was doing well but tiring slightly. We finished the conversation by setting a date to meet.

I’ve enjoyed working with this Social Worker. She was slightly hesitant at the beginning of the placement but had improved greatly over the last few months. I know she feels she can trust me and she has a great relationship with my Supervising Social Worker, which is also a huge benefit.

Over the years I have worked with many Social Workers from the very good to the downright ‘how did you ever qualify?’. I know it’s a thankless task dealing with so many people in the case of one placement but making relationships is a very important part of a Social Workers role and if you haven’t got that then you are going to struggle. I can pretty much judge a Social Worker after a couple of meetings. The only ones that I struggle to get on with are those who can be a little bit ‘you’re only a Foster Carer’ types.

I find that there are less of them now but when I first started in my Foster Care career there were a lot. In fact dealing with those types of Social Workers was one of the reasons I moved from LA Fostering to IFA Fostering, that and the 125% pay increase. The arrogance of some Social Workers was mind boggling.

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It’s a pity as I knew many Carers who left due to the behaviour of Social Workers towards them. It would be an interesting exercise to see how many of those Carers you could get back working if they saw the change in attitude towards Foster Carers.

The ‘problem’ I have is that I am outspoken and don’t like being taken for an idiot. If I feel I am being patronised then I will say so and that never went down well with those Social Workers who treated you like a glorified baby sitter.

I remember sitting in a review meeting where a Social Worker asked everybody’s opinion about something except mine. In the end I basically told her that she was being rude and unprofessional. She replied that she had never been spoken to like that by a Foster Carer, as if I was a naughty child who had spoken out of turn. Fortunately she left shortly afterwards!

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