Monday, 19 May 2008

Placement sought: Foster Care

This is the profile of a child I enquired about today. I'm very keen to be considered. Now starts that awful waiting time where everything moves much too slowly and I just want to know whether we could be considered a match!

J is 12 years old.

Culture & Heritage: White British mother; Black British father of Jamaican heritage

Family sought: Within 120 minutes travel of the borough.

J is a lovely child who can be quiet at times and does not always openly express her feelings on occasions. She lacks confidence and due to early life experiences of parenting, has low self esteem which is improving.
J is healthy, although she is asthmatic, has a positive sense of her identity and responds to praise, encouragement, gentle but consistant boundaries. She enjoys reading,watching Tracey Beaker, working on computer, ice skating and outdoor activities.

Physical Development
J is developing well, using an inhaler mainly after games at school for ashtma. She has had eczema in the past but this has now cleared. She has a poor sleeping pattern at times and has been provided with strategies to manage this.

Emotional Development
J has developed a good relationship with her carer and interacts well on a one to one basis. She has a network of friends.
She has found it difficult to accept the plan for permanency and can be emotionally fragile, becoming easily upset.
She is currently seen by the Clinical Psychologist. Has engaged with the process and interacts well.

J is a bright child who is achieving and progressing well. She is studious, motivated and enjoys attending school but is finding Math challenging.

J is cutrrently on an Interim Care Order and the plan for her is to to be placed with permanent foster carers. Final hearing will commence at the end of May.

It is envisaged that J will have direct contact with her birth mother 4 times a year, birth father 2 times a year and sister C (being placed separately) every month. J will also have annual indirect contact with her older and younger siblings and possible direct contact with paternal grandparents 4 times a year

We are looking for a dual heritage family of either one or two parents who can refect her ethnicity, race and culture. J would like to be a member of a large family with younger or older children who are active and interested in outdoor activities.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

My first possible placement

I had an urgent call last week. My agency had had a referral for a child that needed placing immediately. I was told it was a short term placement that would run for a couple of months. I was so excited to finally get that call!

Sadly, the child's info was sent to me and there was no way I could accept the placement. Not only do I have my own daughter to think about, but I've recently started childminding to earn an income that I wasn't getting from the (lack of) fostering work. Taking this child would have put the other children at risk, and there's no way I could do that.

I felt bad for saying no. Having read about the child, I wanted to be able to help. It also made me sad - it was the first detailed info I had seen on a child and it really brought home some of the awful experiences these children go through. I think the bit that surprised me was my desire to accept this placement - I thought I'd given up on the fostering but getting this call made me realise that it's still something I really want to do.

So much so that I went on the internet that evening and searched for houses that would be more suitable for looking after a foster child. I want to be in a position to accept the next referral I get, and having that extra bedroom would make it much easier. I've been looking for a property for over 6 months now with no luck - either they're not what I'm after or I love the house and the landlord won't accept my situation. I spotted one that evening that looked good and called to leave a message. I viewed the next day and it was PERFECT. It had only just gone on the market, is being totally refurbished, I was the first to view (I made sure of that!) and the landlord seemed happy to accept me (he's now questioning the age of potential foster children, but I'm hoping it won't be an issue). It's situations like this that I really believe that someone or something is showing me the way. Each time a house fell through I told myself it wasn't meant to be and the right one would show up... it's just kind of spooky it happened the same day I got that call. I'm not particularly religious but if I believe in God it's definitely moments like these!

Anyway, I'm currently going through the reference checks and hopefully, if all goes like I expect it to and the landlord doesn't change his mind, we'll be moving early June.

I just hope this all ties in with my first proper placement :)