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Fostering With a Private Agency

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Just a general question I wonder if you could help me with please. Have you known foster carers adopting a child they are fostering when they are fostering through a private agency? If it does is it the same procedure?


Many thanks


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Yes we did it and adopted our 2yr old last nov. We foster for an agency and also have a ltfc.

To be honest we were thinking of adoption and the childs sw knew that before placement so it was quite straightforward.

We fostered through care proceedings then once placement order was granted we were approved and matched etc. The whole thing took about 19 months but yes you do have to go through the whole process the same as everybody else although we skipped stage one. We were approved by the placing authority not the agency btw.

Hope that helps and if you have any more questions let me know. X


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Hi Wizzywoo Can I just clarify please. Did you go to the Foster Agency saying you would foster but were interested in adoption if a foster care was put forward for adoption?


We have been in the adoptive process for years with an intro break down and more recently a match break down. We are no longer working with our LA and are looking at our options. I wondered if foster agencies would be interested in us if we fostered but they knew that we would really love to adopt if an opportunity to give a child a permanent home became a possibility?


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It doesnt really work that way to be honest but sometimes can lead to adoption if you get a placement that fits well . In fact the first thing they will tell you is that fostering is not a shortcut to adoption so if you want to adopt you should pursue that option ( as you have already done )

Have you ruled out foster to adopt ? As that would be the obvious solution for you?

Also there is a real demand for long term fc as a lot of people only want short term placements so i would contact a few agencies and see what they say . It is not full adoption obviously so dont know if it would be of interest to you at all. We have had our long term foster child for 10 yrs since he was little so he is as much ours as our adopted child and birth children as far as we are concerned .

You have obviously had a rough ride so i do hope you can find a way to move forward that works out for you x


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We were foster carers who adopted - but that wasn't the original plan, it just worked out that way. Usually fostering agencies are looking for people who will foster long term and are not keen if you are viewing it as a route to adoption.


An alternative that may work for you is concurrent adoption - not all agencies do this but I believe it is becoming more common. In short, a baby who is removed at birth and that SW think is likely to be adopted, is placed with approved adopters rather than foster carers. Mostly the adoption goes through and there are advantages for the child as there are fewer moves - but the risk is that the child is returned to the birth parents. Also the prospective adopters need to promote birth family contact in the early months, to give the birth parents a fair chance.


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I appreciate what you are saying about concurrent adoption though I imagine it is mainly for babies and very young children generally. We really want to adopt but after our very unfortunate experiences we are being considered a risk and are currently trying to find an agency who will support us in the adoption process again.


We have never ruled out fostering if adoption is no longer an option for us. When the number of placement orders for adoption were very low last year our agency suggested fostering but we stuck with the adoption route then. I can appreciate that agencies who train their foster carers would want to hold on to them and not use their fostering as a route to adoption. Am really confused to be honest..


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Oh midnight it is hard i know,

As i see it you have nothing to lose by becoming foster carers and could end up with a child who remains with you long term and adoption may become an option down the road . And really what a great way to get experience of the issues you would likely face if you did want to adopt in the future and you would be in a strong position to apply for adoption again so i think it is worth serious consideration . Good luck whatever route you take x


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I'd echo Wizzywoo - why not look at just being foster carers, without the subtext of wanting to adopt.....if adoption does happen at sometime in the future then great, if not, you will still be parenting and making a difference those you foster.


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I think if you do that - which I agree is a good way forward - then you need to be sure you are happy to apply for foster care itself as SW will not like it if you seem to be applying as FC but secretly want to adopt. Long term FC children can be just as much a part of your family as AC - there are advantages and disadvantages. Advantages - pay, SW support, services available to your children; disadvantages - lack of security and the potential to be removed at any time (theoretically), having joint parental responsibility with LA (or other agency) and having to refer to them for many decisions. Why not look into it and apply and as you go through the assessment it will be clearer if it is right for you. I too know FCs who have gone on to adopt their foster child - but I also know one where the child was removed at short notice because they wanted to adopt her and were not the sort of family the SWs were looking for. However if you try not to get too emotionally involved then a lot of these situations can be avoided.


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When we originally applied to adopt we were in a different LA area and they asked us to consider fostering. We agreed to attend the sessions but that showed us clearly that we really wanted to adopt, as we wanted our own children. Fortunately we were about to move, so reapplied here and were eventually approved as adopters. You too could investigate fostering but I get the impression that you really want to adopt , and difficult as the process is, if that is how you feel, then I would continue to pursue that course. Adopters have succeeded to adopt, after disruption. And the withdrawal from match is not any sort of breakdown, it is actually a wise thing to do if you have good reason, don't call it a breakdown when talking to agencies as it wasn't !

bTW, Foster to adopt can happen with older children, we did it with an almost seven yr old ! But agencies tend to be employed by LA's to either place a child for adoption, or for fostering and not usually foster to adopt for older children? Ours only happened because the LA we were with needed a placement fast. Maybe there is another " not too distant LA" that might consider you?

Hang in there , ask a few and see what is possible.

Best Wishes

Pingu


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You are right Pingu123 we do really want to adopt and are trying to do just that but we have to be realistic we have had two very sad episodes of things going wrong with the process. As I say one intro breakdown and now been to panel where we were approved to adopt a sibling pair but pulled out as we didn't feel we were given all the info we needed and lost confidence in the placing LA. Our LA will not family find for us anymore and we are looking for an LA or VA who will help us. We are seen as a 'risk' and even though we feel we have been really, really unlucky it will be harder to get support and will need to go through the process again. We do not want to give up and have never waivered from pursuing our dream.


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Maybe ask to speak to other LA/VA and see what the chances are before going down any other route then. Then at least you will have tried your best, and if it eventually fails then investigate long term fostering. Think about how you can pursuade them that you won't be likely to back out again. The fact that you have never wavered in pursuing your dream, and are prepared to be reassessed by a new agency for instance shows persistence and a strong desire to adopt. They will want to know that once committed to a child you won't give up., no matter the difficulties. Don't expect social workers to always give you full information, sometimes you just have to manage with what you get. I am sure there were good reasons for your past decisions, I am just saying that you need to convince the agency it's worth it to invest time and money in processing you.

I know of folks who had breakdown and went on to adopt , so it is possible if you stick at it, but you might need to look at a few agencies to find the right one, and you will need to find ways to convince them it will be different his time.

Good luck

Pingu


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