We are foster parents for kids with special needs. As of yet, we haven't had a full time placement, we've been doing respite care. I'm pretty frustrated with the information provided by our agency. These kids have been in care for a while - yet they don't tell us anything about them or their routines, what is normal for them etc. Anyone else had trouble?
me and DH 09/06/05
Alicia Marie 07/06/08
David John Courtenay 14/10/09
DSDs Portia 2001 Lexi 1999 Cassondra 1989
We have been fostering for a number of years, but mostly long term placements, and every jurisdiction is different... but here are my thoughts..
Most social workers don't actually know a lot about the day to day life of the children on their case load. There are so many children per social worker that this type of intimate knowledge is impossible for them to keep up with. They should absolutely know any medical conditions such as allergies or medications that would affect the child's care while in respite.
If the children are in respite from another foster home, you can ask the social worker for the home's phone number and call and ask about routines. Also if you are either picking up the child from the other foster home, or if they are dropping them off, you can chat and get an idea of what the child's routine and needs are. If the child is coming on a regular basis, send a note in the child's bag and ask the foster family to send you a note with what a typical day looks like.
If the child is in respite from their family you should be working with the family as a team to support the child and family. Talk with them, and show that you care about their child and want it to go smoothly and are willing to keep the routine they have established.
Don't know if that exactly helps, but if you don't have the information you need, then you need to be proactive to get it. So many social workers are so busy that they are going to give you bare minimums, but if you ask respectively for more information then they will work to get it for you.
Let me know if that helps and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask!!