Headline: Kids in Care

As many of my readers are aware, I was a foster parent for four years in the 1980s. It was one of the few good things to come out of my relationship during that time.
When Hubby and I got married and moved to our bigger house in 1996, we applied to the council to be foster carers. My expertise was teenagers, and our preference was long term teens with a view to adopt.
The idiot of a social worker assigned to us insisted we take under twos short term, and that I gave up my job, regardless of the fact that I was the major breadwinner at the time. She was so blinkered, she did not listen to what we were saying, did not appreciate my previous experience, and reduced me to tears which resulted in Hubby getting her coat and showing her the door.
The council at that time were crying out for foster carers for teenagers. But they didn’t want us.

Fast forward to 2008, and we applied to a different council who were advertising the need for foster carers everywhere, from the back of buses to double page spreads in the local papers and flyers delivered by the postman with the community newsletters.
We had a lovely social worker, who took everything on board. We had been a couple since 1989, and married since 1991. We were solvent, and could offer a home to one, if not two teenagers.
Then came the kicker.

Because of the child abuse cases that had come to light in recent years, everyone was so intent at covering their arses, that the kids got sidelined under red tape and the need for references, background checks, and god knows what else. I am not knocking that in the slightest, BUT you can take things too far.

Fostering kids isn’t like the official secrets act. Background checks must be taken of course, but did they really have to go back three generations? Did they really need to know what schools you attended as a child, what subjects you were good or bad at, and the friends you had? Was it necessary to contact ALL of your employers? Did they have to contact previous partners or spouses?
It got to the stage where we were waiting to be asked what the first thing we did was when our mothers birthed us.

The social worker was apologetic. She said it was now an invasive procedure to apply, and even at the end of it, which could take months, we might still not be approved.
We thought about it, long and hard, having a second visit and discussion, even attending one of the potential carers training meetings. We had nothing to hide, but considered it too intrusive and did not want to dig up the ghosts from the past, so we backed away.
We were angry to see a new campaign for fostering plastered everywhere within weeks of doing so.

Now I read this. (source)
Government cutbacks and policy has led to our most vulnerable young people being exposed to these circumstances.
Our ‘leaders’ should be ashamed that good people are being deterred because of government ‘policy’ checks going to extremes, when there are single individuals and couples who could offer a child a home and the support they need as they approach adulthood. It was what I was good at. There are thousands like us, but because of red tape and passing the buck, kids suffer. Those same kids are our future.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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17 Responses to Headline: Kids in Care

  1. murisopsis says:

    What a tragedy! I think it is is same everywhere though. Here in the US there have been so many scandals. The needed changes were made yet the changes haven’t benefited the kids – only protected the government from lawsuits…

  2. Liz says:

    In the 90’s my cousin and her husband who are no longer here, tried to adopt a couple of children in their family. But were not allowed. So those children were taken further afield into foster care. Luckily, they had a car, so were able to visit and take other family members to visit.

    When on TV they advertise kids that needed foster family, (I can’t remember the programme,) they apparently tried for that. They were told they lived too far.

    My cousin and her husband were both in jobs. She had a morning cleaning job literally on her doorstep and her husband full time and his work place was around the corner.
    They had been married for years and where they lived was the first place they moved to from getting married.
    They weren’t able to have children of their own, but they had love to give. I know, because they were like my next set of parents because of the time I had there.

  3. Lakshmi Bhat says:

    The red tape everywhere. It is sad.

  4. cagedunn says:

    It happened then, it’s happening now, and it seems to be easier to let it keep happening. Easier to let kids live on the streets, or with monsters, than to find a way to make the best of opportunities for the kid to grow into a useful and contributing member of society — unlike politicians, who think only of their bottom line, reputation, and how to get onto boards after politics.
    Makes me so angry. So very, very angry.

  5. Carol anne says:

    wow I didn’t realise it was so hard to become a foster parent! It makes no sense. Kids are crying out for homes. You were a foster parent in the past, they should’ve taken that into consideration. Xxx

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