Saturday, 18 August 2007

Books, books and more books!

As I haven't got any more meetings with the agency or paperwork to complete, I've been filling my spare time with lots of reading relating to foster care. I love reading anyway, and I'm finding that I'm learning so much. It's even got me reflecting on my teaching experiences; a lot of what I now know would have been very useful back then. I won't go into details, but there seems to be a lot of issues mentioned in the literature that relate to some of the children at school, and it's made me wonder about their home lives.

I thought I'd use this post to list the books I've read so far:

'Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child' by Cathy Glass (a book written by a foster carer about her experiences with a very abused young girl.)

'Wednesday's Child' by Shane Dunphy (a childcare worker and his experiences with three families.)

'If you don't stick with me, who will?: The challenges and rewards of foster care' edited by Henrietta Bond (a collection of first-person accounts from foster carers giving a very real insight into what it's like to care for children - a very interesting book!)

'Providing a secure base in long-term foster care' by Mary Beek and Gillian Schofield (currently reading this one - this text uses case studies to show how children with backgrounds of loss and adversity need the experience of sensitive parenting and a secure base to contain their anxieties, heal their sense of hurt, build self-esteem and make them confident and competent - all based around attachment theory.)

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Assessment complete!!

Ooops, I never did get back to write about the second assessment meeting. Since then I've had two more (one on Monday 30th July and one yesterday). The second and third meeting were lengthy and as in-depth as before (I've forgotten exactly what we talked about now, but it was more of my history and parenting style, plus some questions on fostering, some of which I found quite difficult). But the final one yesterday was less than an hour and was really to gather any last bits of information and sort out some future dates...

My assessment is finished (I can't believe how quickly it has happened!!). My link worker has to go away and write up my report, wait for the medical to be recieved, interview my 3 referees, and bring the completed Form F report for me to review before it is submitted around mid-September. The next time she visits she will carry out a health and safety inspection of my home so we can ensure it's safe for children to be placed with me.

So now it's back to waiting... my panel date is set for mid-October (and the agency are confident I will be approved on that day.) Wow, I'm almost a foster carer!!

In the meantime, I will be keeping busy reading as many books as I can find on foster care, and I will have preparation group training to attend in September or October.