Thursday, 16 May 2013

Contact arrangements

Part of Jacks normal day is going to his contact arrangement with his parents; this takes place in a specialised contact centre.

Most children in foster care will have some contact with their birth families. Contact arrangements vary depending on the child’s circumstances.  I previously had a foster child whose contact took place at my home with his prospective adoptive parents. Sometimes the contact is supervised and other times not necessary.

Contact is especially important for younger children and babies, so their parents can maintain their relationship if the child goes home. As a 14 month old baby Jack has contact every weekday.

It can be challenging on occasions when dealing with parents but, on the same token, I have had some lovely experiences with most of my foster children’s parents.

It is important to try to understand the parent’s prospective and their feelings of having their child placed in care.

Today I had an appointment with my support worker who makes regular home visits. She is very helpful and advises me on any concerns I may have. She discusses what courses to take and keeps me up to date with information. It’s a very good time to discuss Jack’s development and his current situation and how long he’ll stay in care.

My support worker also ran through a number of courses that I would benefit from, to enhance my fostering skills. I will be taking a First Aid course this weekend.

This course is very worthwhile and important for me, as I look after children under the age of 3. The great thing about these courses is that they are all free and funded by the council, which would otherwise be very costly to attend regularly.  Some courses I have re-attended as refreshers.

The courses are run in a friendly environment and with other foster carers. Some of the courses I have really benefitted from and have helped me to understand and manage young children are: The Early Years, Toddler Tantrum, Understanding Heritage, Moving on young babies and children and preparing a Life Story for when they leave.

Jack also had his LAC Medical appointment today. This appointment was to see Jack’s general development and assess his wellbeing. The nurse interacted with him through play and assessing his physical abilities. He was weighed and his height measured and recorded. I was glad to hear that he was developing well and there were no reasons for concern.

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