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A recent article Foster children need long-term social workers they can rely on got me thinking about my experiences as a foster carer and the carers I know. The article stated – Children and young people in care need continuity and stability in their relationships. They need foster carers who can commit to providing them with a long-term home and, where appropriate, to have supported and constructive contact with their birth families.
We also know that it’s crucial to have good access to social worker support, and that consistency of social worker is very important to children.
With this in mind I wondered just what would make a difference for the children we care for and what changes other foster carers would like to see to support the needs and development of our children?
so often we hear of placement disruption/breakdown because of changes in social worker both the child’s social worker and the supervising social worker. Its a pity when new staff come in, a joint meeting could not take place to share the information and begin to build positive relationships between all parties.
I also think there are a lot of (independent) experienced people not being utilised to help foster carers with challenging and difficult behaviours in children. Foster carers may or may not want to ask for help with their agencies in case they are seen as not coping. Independent workers could help out and give coping strategies to develop better practice without the foster carers feeling judged by their respective agencies.
carers being judged is all too common – their ability to seek professional help and guidance is assessed, yet when they do (particularly if they have a challenging child) they are questioned about their ability to cope and manage without help and support. Research shows that carers who received support and professional help, are more likely to carry on with a difficult placement therefore avoiding further placement disruption for children and young people.
It’s a shame if Foster Carers feel they can’t ask for help and guidance from their Fostering Service. Each child is different so surely there is always a potential for Foster Carers to need more support.