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Posted 15/11/2011 9:54:23 PM
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Regarding Nanny's post - there seems to be huge differences in approach even within DOCS. It wasn't an issue with my FD DOCS case workers that she started calling me Mum from the beginning. I"m sure it would have been an issue if I had tried to force her to do so, but it was her choice.

I guess every situation is different but children calling their foster parents mum and dad is a pretty shaky reason to end a placement - but I suppose their must have been more problems than just that. My FD short term carers also told me that most of their foster children call them mum and dad. I think Nanny's situation sounds very difficult and she and her partner both deserve a medal for putting up with it.

Good luck with the assessment process Storkless. I'm sure you'll be fine.

Post #64493
Posted 16/11/2011 10:53:09 AM

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Hi Storkless and everyone else, good luck and hope is all going well as I type.

Well the M&D situation for us.  Our placement called us by our first names and they were very young.  Our FD was the first to experiment with calling me mum.  I did not respond and my dear husband stepped up and said she is speaking to you and she sees you as her mum.  This really hit home for me.  All the other children at day care were saying mum and dad and our 2 made that progression on their own.  I did panic as they were seeing their birth family regularly and we spoke to the birth family and explained how it all came about and the dept.  All responses were great and open, even the birth mum. 

At access though the children reverted back to our names for 6 months to a year but now just M and D.  They had always called their birth mum by her first name as they had never lived with her. 

Funny, now at dinner our 2 will sometimes call us by our first names to see how funny it feels and we are all in hysterics and we all tell the story of how it all was and is and how they used to say our names as babies and that we shortened my husbands name to help them to say it.  Out of the blue they will call out our first names with out thinking and we all laugh.  We are all very relaxed about it either way.

This is just how it is for us, hope this helps.

Zeeta 27 NSW

Post #64502
Posted 16/11/2011 7:14:37 PM
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Hi All,

Just checking in to say that everything went well with the first meeting. I am a little exhausted now, as I think I worked myself up a little, so I will write more tomorrow!!

Take care!

Post #64513
Posted 17/11/2011 11:00:04 AM
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Okay, so I have slept on it, had a chance to process it all, and still just as keen as ever!

Essentially the caseworker was lovely, if all their caseworkers are that lovely, then I don't foresee any issues in the future with the agency. We covered off all the basics, questions I had about schools, general day to day care and what decisions we can make, as opposed to those we need approval from the caseworker for. Also their program, how it works and what the preferred outcomes are for these children.

Talked about ages, and although they asked the question as to would we consider older, when I explained our reasoning (I am only 28, all my support network have young children/babies and the fit wouldn't be right with an older child etc), she was more than happy with our preference for a younger child, but did explain the possible wait. Also covered off sibling groups, and what their policy was regarding second placements.

My concerns... The assessment process includes a health check, and although I am generally well, I am really sensitive around this topic, as my health was the whole reason I couldn't have a baby to start with! I am overweight (I have PCOS and have always struggled in my adult years as a result), and she mentioned that over a certain BMI you have to have an extra cardiac test etc, and so now I am paranoid that I won't be approved because I am not a gym buff!

The second part was the financial part. Don't get me wrong, we are financially stable, we own our home (well let me rephrase, we own a mortgage and the bank owns our home) and I am lucky to not need to work, but it's more just the idea of someone poking around in my finances!! I know the reason for it, but our families are nosy enough (always making sure we are saving etc), let alone some total stranger! And again, I would be devastated to not be approved because of how wealthy we are or aren't!

Anyone have any advice on just how invasive these two assessments are? I guess if I know what to expect, then I can feel a little more at ease, because at the moment I am working them up in my head to be bigger than they probably are!

Well I think that's enough from me for now! Over to you guys for your feedback.

Thanks for reading!
Post #64525
Posted 27/01/2012 10:53:34 PM
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Hi Storkless

My husband and I were also unable to have kids of our own and after a failed inter country adoption application we decided to try fostering. Here is our experience.
* I too am overweight so had to have the extra testing. It is nothing to worry about.
* our experience with the financial check was not invasive at all. I think all they did was confirm my employment and ask us if we were financially stable.
* I would think long & hard about taking a sibling group when you haven't had children previously. we were originally given a brother & sister which we found extremely difficult & very overwhelming. We had also said we wanted under 5 yrs old but they were 8 & 3. After the 1st couple of months we had to admit we were struggling with our FS's behaviour & spoke to a councilor who recommended we end the placement., which meant losing both, which was heartbreaking. While they were organizing another placement, a CW witnessed our FS behaviour & decided to move him straight away. In the end they decided to leave our FD with us as she had settled in well.
* our FD started off calling us by our first names. When playing she started to refer to us as the mummy & daddy to try it out & then after about 5 months she decided to call us mum & dad.

It is definitely not easy being a foster carer but the way I look at it is as long as there are still more good moments than bad then it is worth it!

Good luck
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