Tough questions and a bigger picture

1 November 2016

LINK MAKER, the UK’s key online adoption matching service, has today launched a national platform for fostering services to search vacancies among foster carers and residential homes and commission their services to provide a suitable match for children in their care.
The service is being offered free of charge to all fostering agencies and local authorities until the end of March and Link Maker admits that it will take a while to build up the numbers of home and carer vacancies. A new national commissioning platform was one of the recommendations in Sir Martin Narey’s review of residential children’s care.

SARA LURIE, the Fostering Network’s director in Scotland got some rather shocking responses when she asked foster carers about key issues around their own health at a recent Fostering Network event. Answers suggested some carers were afraid to seek GP’s advice over certain health problems for fear of facing deregistration while other talked about buying medication over the internet to keep ill health concealed. Blogger and foster carer Suddenly Mummy tweeted in response that “These are real fears for Foster Carers, and it’s a serious concern.”

CLAIRE FITZPATRICK, criminology lecturer at Lancaster University, reflects on the reasons why so many people in prison spent time in care as children, bringing together research and information from a variety of sources as well as her own. Meanwhile the National Association for Youth Justice is proposing a move away from youth offender institutions and secure training centres towards secure children’s homes for children in the criminal justice system.

ADOPTION UK chief executive Hugh Thornbery reminds us that the normal behaviour management techniques don’t work with many children who have been adopted from care as the organisation publicised its campaign to make every school “attachment aware, which was covered heavily by the morning BBC news programmes yesterday.

MEANWHILE, FOSTERING social worker Lynn Findlay unravelled the bewildering array of age classifications for film, online video, apps and games but suggests to “not rely on an arbitrary age rating to decide if something is suitable”. Instead informed parental decisions should be made based “on a child’s developmental age, personality, coping skills and earlier experiences”.

FOSTER CARERS’ employment status was discussed again on Twitter after an employment tribunal ruling that Uber drivers should not be classified as self-employed. “Specifically this case is valuable in providing more clarity about what degree of control (for example on prices, ability to secure work and choice of what work to accept) over those carrying out work is sufficient to mean someone is not self-employed,” explained director of the Resolution Foundation Torsten Bell.

AND FINALLY the relaunched BelongBlog wrote in a brutally honest way about the night I decided I couldn’t foster my children anymore (don’t worry, they changed their mind). “If you want to read a blog about the joys of fostering and adopting then great, there’s plenty out there in cyberspace to chose from.  But I also know that when times are hard (and re-parenting traumatised children is never going to be a walk in the park) I don’t want to read an eternally optimistic blog about how well fostering/adopting is going for another mum,” the author wrote.


2 thoughts on “Tough questions and a bigger picture

  1. Pingback: New approaches and an old regime | This Week in Fostering

  2. Pingback: Care costs | This Week in Fostering

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