How long will my child be in foster care?
This is a difficult question to answer as every situation is different. It is important that you keep in touch with your child's Social Worker and discuss this with them. Throughout your child's time in foster care regular meetings (reviews) are held to make sure that the plan for your child is still working and to make any changes that are needed. You and your child (if they are old enough) will be invited to this meeting, along with other people (such as the Independent Reviewing Officer, Social Worker, and teacher). You will have the chance to share information about your child and hear what is planned. Your child will be able to give their opinion and may have an advocate to help them do this.
Sometimes the main aim of fostering is to give a child's family a break from caring and the plan is to reunite them as quickly as possible. You will work with your child's Social Worker to plan for your child's return and the Foster Carer will help in this plan.
If it is not possible for your child to return home the Foster Carer will look after them until permanent plans are made.
If your child is staying with the Foster Carer on a part time basis (respite) the arrangements will be regularly reviewed to make sure that your child is happy and that the respite is helping everyone in the family. Respite arrangements may be given on a short term basis to support you and the family through a difficult time, or to enable you to have a break from caring and to provide your child with a short break from the family.
I'm not happy about my child's care.
First, talk to your child's Social Worker and Foster Carer about any worries that you have so that they can be resolved. It's often the little things that can become annoying and build up to cause resentment. Sometimes these things can be easily sorted out. If you do not think that matters can be sorted out in this way, you can speak directly to your child's Social Worker's manager.
If you wish to make a formal complaint about the care your child is being given and do not feel that it can be resolved in a less formal way, you can find out more information on how to make a complaint.