Use of a playpen and help from family members

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Does anyone have any thoughts on the use of a playpen in foster care and any issues it could cause in building attachments?

Also, similarly regarding help from foster carers' family members.....If a member of your family helps out by looking after the foster child one or two times a week, could this be problematic for the child in knowing who their main attachment figure is?


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Hi. Not an fc but saw uou had no replies.

Re the playpen - guess it would depend on why, for how long, are you still in the same room as the child. So in what context is it used.

Re other family carers - check with social care? Are they dbs checked?

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I am in a f2a placement. I use a playpen when I need to run the Hoover around to keep my Munchkin contained so she doesn't get hurt or attempt to climb stairs while I am hoovering them. She is in it for probably 20-30 minutes maybe once a week if I am on my own.

My eldest AD spent a lot of time in her playpen when she was with her FCs in front of the telly and it really has hindered her ability to focus and play imaginatively if I honest.

I wouldn't use the playpen if I was remaining in the room I would be down on the floor playing with them or out in the garden.

As Donatella says check with SS regarding leaving a foster child with family members.

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The family members would need to be DBS checked and id only do it for those occasions where you really cant take ths babe with you.

The playpen or travel cot is fine for a short time when you have to put the washing out or take a toddler to the toilet etc

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I used a playpen for short periods when I ahd two children in placement, one a hyperactive toddler and one a newborn. I put the newborn in to keep her safe from the toddler at times. I never used it with the toddler becoz she would just climb out. for short periods of time for the reason you describe, so long as the child isn't distressed by being in it I see no reason you couldn't use it. as you said the way your other child used it was not helpful, but there are plenty of other ways to 'babysit' children that probably hinder development too.

re the family members helping out, again, no not a huge issue from the foster caring side so long as they are people you trust to take good care of the child and so long as far as it is possible to keep to the same family member so there is some sense of routine and bond building. some LA's still want dbs checks for babysitters, but a large number, mine included, only ask that we use someone we have known at elast 2 eyars and who we would trust to be left with our own children (tho appreciate that this is technically your child, or going to be hopefully) ideally, if early in placement, then no I wouldn't do it in a potential adoptive situation, but as a fc myself I would be housebound if I didn't use babysitters from time to time but as far as it is possible I use the same two people, my daughter (who lives at home and is first choice) or another fc friend that my foster children see a lot of socially anyway.

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