Living with people who are not your family can be very strange at first and you may feel worried about what you can and can’t do in someone else’s home. Foster carers understand that leaving your family can be very upsetting. They will look after you and help you to settle in and feel safe.
Contact with your family and friends
Your foster carers know how important your family and friends are to you. You will be helped to keep in touch with them and if you cannot return home for a while contact arrangements will be made.
If you don’t think you are having enough contact, or too much, then tell your social worker. If you are on a care order the court may decide what contact you can have with your family.
Your foster carer will make sure you are ok and you will be able to visit your doctor and dentist when you need to.
If you feel a bit low or under stress talk to your foster carer or social worker.
You will be able to discuss house rules and going out. There will be some house rules in your foster home and these may be different from your own family home, for example your foster carer will tell you if you can help yourself from the fridge and when is the best time to have a shower/bath.
You must tell your foster carer where you are going if you are going out, and any other things that will help them to look after you.
You will have pocket money, the amount will be decided at your placement meeting. Your foster carers have a weekly allowance for your clothes and you will have a say in the clothes that are bought. Your foster carers will buy your school uniform and things like toothpaste, shampoo and sanitary items so you do not have to use your pocket money for these.
There are lots of reasons why children and young people live with foster carers. The main reason is that you should feel safe and protected, but if you don’t, and you don’t like what’s happening to you, you must tell someone.
Talking about feeling threatened or hurt, perhaps by someone bigger than you, can be difficult, but we have to get it stopped.
Whether someone is physically hurting you, or making you feel unloved or unwanted or touching you in a way or place you don’t like, it really is important to talk to your foster carer or social worker straight away.
What to do
On the back page there are some useful telephone numbers of people who can help. Tell someone else if you are not believed. If you have a friend who tells you they are being abused then get them to tell someone or call one of the helplines listed.
Social Services will hold meetings to talk about the plans for your future and how they are going. Your first Review will be held within four weeks of you moving into foster care. Your foster carer or social worker will tell you when if will happen and how to get your views across. You can go to your Review if you want to.
You will go to school as normal.Your foster carer will make sure you have the right uniform and equipment and will make sure you get there on time. It is important you give them any information that comes home from school with you. Your foster carers will go to open and parents evenings or arrange with your parents who will go.
All children who are looked after have a social worker. Yours will visit you regularly and help sort out problems and difficulties and help you be involved in plans for the future. Write you social worker’s telephone numbers on the back of this leaflet so you can phone when you like.
Your file with reports and Reviews and plans for the future will be kept by Social Services. You can see this when you are old enough to understand it but you cannot read details about other members of your family as this information is private to them.
If you are unhappy about the way you are being looked after, or any aspect of the service you get from social services, you should let someone know. Your first step would be to talk to your foster carer or social worker.
Childline for children in care - 0800 884444
Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) 08456 404040
If you are unhappy about something and want to tell someone about the problem you can tell Ofsted. The telephone number is 08456 404040. If you need help in making this phone call you can ask someone you trust, like a teacher or maybe a friend’s mum or dad.