OUR EXPERIENCE OF APPLYING TO BEXLEY TO FOSTER
Early last year we applied to Bexley to foster. We have a
happy stable and loving home and wanted to open it to vulnerable children.
There is a national shortage of foster carers and so many
needy children are being passed from pillar to post, ending up traumatised and
even finding themselves on the streets after Local Authority 'care'.
We have spent over a year going through the process. We have
attended 5 days of training. Our children have attended a day's training. We
have spent countless hours being interviewed.
The assessing social worker was in our home continually and
investigating every area of our lives. We have spent money fulfilling the
Throughout we were supported by the assessing social worker
and her managers and they fully, wholeheartedly and absolutely recommended us (Therefore, I have no reservations in recommending that the panel approve Annette and Jonathan as foster carers for Bexley Local Authority), in the most glowing terms as you can read below. We had excellent references
from a Headteacher, a teacher, a former schools inspector, a residentiary Canon
at Durham cathedral and many more. We
had exemplary references from families in the community about Jonathan's work
However, we were rejected.
Bexley's panel and the appeal panel ignored the report and
the recommendation. In fact it seemed that they hadn't even read it. They were
fixated on other 'unrelated' issues.
When we were foster carers previously we exposed a Social
Services scam to the Daily Telegraph.
Specifically that Social Services knowingly were placing
adults into homes and school class rooms
pretending they were children and allowing them to groom, go out with
and sleep with their class mates without alerting the foster carers, the school
or any other authorities to the scam.
We had two 'young teenagers' placed with us allegedly from
Kosovo whose parents had been murdered during the war. They had been in foster
care for three years before being placed with us.
During the two years they were with us, we managed to
discover what Social Services were concealing. The 'boys' were actually men,
not from Kosovo but Albania, and were scamming the system to gain a free
education and send their fostering allowance plus other money they were
secretly earning back to their families, all of whom were alive and well, so
that they could build an additional home on a family plot in the capital
We raised the matter with the fostering agency and Social
Services but they were not concerned because they said it was a well-known
issue, about which they were willing to do nothing.
We decided we had to contact the Daily Telegraph to alert
other families to the dangers such a scam was posing to their children.
Bexley and the appeal panel were panicked that if we
uncovered further corruption, malpractice or found that crass Social services
decisions were traumatising children, we would not sit silently by, but would
They didn't want foster carers who were willing to challenge
authority but ones willing to be subservient and compliant, even when the needs
of children were being threatened.
Democracy and good practice depends on whistle-blowers.
However the truth is, Social Services doesn't want them or welcome them, in
fact they actively discriminate against them.
They also didn't like the fact that I worked publicly, had a
web site with my address on it. They didn't like the fact that I comment about
events in society and campaign on social issues and against injustice.
They were concerned about my web site that urged families
under investigation by Social Services to video record every meeting that took
place with the social workers and other related professionals so they have an
objective record of what had taken place to be able to produce to protect
themselves and their children in case the Social Services or others were going to take
action against them.
It was clear that they wanted to protect their advantage
irrespective of whether it resulted in unjust outcomes for children.
We considered taking our rejection to Judicial Review,
however, realised that even if we were successful, we could not work within
such a compromised and self interested structure, and it would not be safe to
However, it is important that the rot in Bexley and the
National Fostering Authority is known and pressure mounted to effect change.
with a good sense of humour and a lively, warm and positive personality. She
contributed well in group work during training and individually. She was
confident and open, sharing personal experiences and was often the first to
speak about a new topic in the large group. Annette has a diverse attitude and
was able to critically analyse.
deeply about safe caring. She had a good understanding and non-judgemental
attitudes and a risk sensible approach.
understanding and empathy. She participated well in role-play and was able to
'put herself' in the shoes of the character, resulting in insightful thought
as very family orientated.
Annette adopts a
common sense approach seeing the child as an individual with his or her own
unique set of circumstances.
as a friendly, articulate, intelligent, sensitive and warm individual. He
consistently showed respect for the other members of the group. He listened to
other members in group discussions and took on board their opinions. He shared
personal amusing information.
Jonathan has a
friendly manner about him (body language, facial expressions, tone of voice)
which would be good for a looked after child.
observed to have good interpersonal skills and made people feel at ease.
He was aware of
diversity and the importance of accepting people for who they are and adopting
a non-judgemental attitude.
Similar to Annette,
Jonathan was very family orientated.
Jonathan was good
at communicating in a clear and non-patronising manner to ensure he was
Annette was very
open & honest with me as the assessor and I found her to be a warm &
compassionate person. Annette has a loving
and nurturing approach to parenting and I have observed a secure attachment to
all three of her children in the home.
Annette is attuned
to her children and is able to predict their needs and wants.
Referees have also
commented on the ‘quality’ of Annette’s parenting.
Annette has led a
productive life as an adult and moreover she has been able to sustain a healthy
& loving marriage with Jonathan as well as sustain positive &
appropriate relationships with others.
Jonathan is a warm, genuine and compassionate person who I
found to be broad minded and very tolerant of others, which again, are
qualities that we look for in a foster carer.
I also found Jonathan to be transparent and refreshingly honest.
Jonathan is a very warm and caring person and
an amazing father to his three children.
Jonathan have a wholesome attitude towards others and neither appear to have
any prejudices or discriminatory attitudes that may impact on their ability to
promote a child’s identity, whilst in their care. What is more, Annette and
Jonathan have a child focused family orientated value base, which in turn will
support them to address any concerns they have regarding the child’s
Jonathan are attuned to their own children’s needs and I am confident that they
will able to transfer this to the Looked After Child in order to raise their
self-esteem, as well as improve the way they regard themselves. Both carers have an innate ability to see the
world through a child’s eyes (also reflected at training) and I have no doubt
that they will challenge any prejudice in an appropriate way if any arose.
Jonathan have a very good attitude towards education and both are considered to
be supportive parents who always attend parent’s evenings or any other events
arranged by school. Furthermore, they
were reported to be supportive of the boy’s homework assignments and thought to
provide opportunities that promote learning.
(See references from both schools for a full report)
I am confident that
Annette and Jonathan have the ability to fully promote the educational life
chances of all Looked After Children in their care. Furthermore, they will promote additional opportunities to
encourage, motivate and facilitate the necessary learning that will be tailored
to the child’s individual needs.
Annette is very loving and nurturing and Jonathan is very creative in
his ideas so together, as a team, they will ensure a child achieves educational
attainment despite the challenges faced by Looked After Children.
Jonathan have a good attitude towards employment and both promote their
children’s education in order for them to secure future employment &
assessment, it was evident that they have transferable skills that will greatly
benefit children & young people of all ages.
Jonathan has also led a very interesting and
thought-provoking life that on balance, I believe would greatly benefit a
Looked After Child in his care.
Annette and Jonathan
maintain good health and both have a positive outlook on life. Jonathan especially believes in promoting
children’s health by way of engaging them spiritually i.e. allowing plenty of
time for them to express themselves as well as their views and Annette
encourages the boys to participate in the menu planning as well as
As a family, they
maintain a well-balanced and varied diet. Neither, Annette or Jonathan smokes
and both have a positive attitude to maintaining their health.
Medicals for both
applicants were clear and the recommendation was ‘fit to foster’.
Jonathan are very engaging & energetic people who actively encourage their
children to partake in leisure activities as well as to explore new
recreational interests. l am confident
that they will encourage children and young people placed with them to engage
in constructive leisure activities as this will also promote a positive sense
Jonathan are aware that Looked After Children need support to engage as well as
to make and sustain positive friendships within their peer groups. I have no doubt that they will be able to
support a Looked After Child as their interests are flexible and often carried
out as a family unit.
It is evident that
Annette and Jonathan manage their life through remaining open with each other
as well as maintaining clear communication.
Decisions are made jointly and I have observed an equal partnership.
They have presented
as being open and honest throughout my involvement and on occasions Annette has
told Jonathan he was being ‘too honest’. It was quite refreshing to interview
someone like Jonathan, who clearly wanted to remain very open and authentic
during all of our meetings.
I have also
experienced Annette and Jonathan as being quite a fun couple, who definitely
have a lot of energy. They maintain a
positive outlook on life whereby they are happy, content, close and a very warm
couple who want to offer a Looked After Child a positive experience of family
life and the care system.
They are certainly
stable and able to provide a foster placement to our Looked After Children and
moreover, I am confident that a child will experience much love and warmth from
all the family as well as from Annette and Jonathan as their foster carers.
When I interviewed
them separately, both spoke lovingly about each other and both valued and had a
lot of respect for their partner.
Annette referred to Jonathan as being the ‘most caring person she had
ever met’. She also described him as
being very ‘artistic and in touch with his feminine side’.
Jonathan feels that
‘Nettie’ is the most ‘beautiful, loving and loyal person’ that he has ever
met. Nettie is Jonathan’s pet name for
Annette. He also spoke about her
parenting and informed me that as a mother, she is warm, kind, caring and always
available for her children no matter what time of the day it is.
It was evident that
they know each other well and that their relationship continues to be
successful and one built on trust.
Annette and Jonathan plan on ‘growing old together’.
like to go on holidays as a family together and both feel that they would want
to take a fostered child with them as they would be considered a part of their
Jonathan have given much consideration to how fostering will impact on their
lives and both feel that they have the time, room and more importantly, the
emotional space to take on the fostering task at this time in their lives.
I have no concerns
about their ability to foster and to provide a high standard of care in line
with the current Fostering Regulations and NMS 2011.
As a family, they are very stable and all
three children fully agree with their parent’s application to foster.
Jonathan are financially secure and will not rely on fostering as an income.
They have a positive attitude towards finances and both are sensible in terms
of budgeting and how the money is spent.
Jonathan have a positive attitude towards their finances in general and I have no
concerns in this area of assessment.
They maintain a good standard of living and always ensure their mortgage
and bills are paid on time.
Their children all
receive pocket money and all are given guidance on how to budget appropriately.
Jonathan will be able to support children & young people to manage their
limited budget in order to prepare them for independence.
Annette and Jonathan appear to be motivated to foster as a
result of them having an innate want and ability to provide children with a
warm & loving home and moreover, to make a positive difference in the life
of a Looked After Child.
As a couple, I feel that they have the knowledge and skills
as well as the experience to become foster carers for Bexley. They have all the necessary qualities that
one would expect a carer to have and I am confident that with appropriate
support and on-going training, they may also go on to complete more specialist
training and provide placements for children with more complex needs, when their
own children become adults.
Jonathan had a very negative experience of fostering previously however both
are confident that this is something they still want to do. Annette and Jonathan are committed to making
a difference to children’s lives and it is evident by way of
that the timing is right for them to become a fostering family.
As a family, they
are very close and all three boys have a secure attachment to both
parents. The children are very much at
ease around their parents and all were able to speak freely as well as
There is strong
evidence to suggest a positive parenting style, good family support systems are
in place and communication is very clear.
Both parents are emotionally available to the children and both parents
provide appropriate guidance as well as set clear boundaries.
I found the boys to
be individuals, active, confident, warm, kind, caring, funny and all had an age
appropriate understanding of the fostering task and why some children need to
be Looked After. It was obvious that
all three children had been informed about their parents wish to foster and
moreover, Annette and Jonathan had ascertained their views in relation to them
becoming a fostering family.
The eldest child is
doing very well in school and currently achieving very good grades. He has a good network of friends and is
fully integrated into his community. He
is very active and likes to engage in most sports. Currently he plays for the school Basket-ball team and I
understand that he also plays cricket.
He is a charming
young person whom I found to be warm, welcoming, intelligent & polite. He always engaged with me and I particularly
enjoyed speaking with him about fostering, as it was evident that he was informed
and for his age, he had good insight into some of the emotional baggage that
Looked After Children can bring with them into placement. He understood that some parents were not
able to look after their children if they were ‘ill or on drugs’. He presents as
being very mature for his age and I found him easy to talk to.
When I spoke to him
about his childhood experiences so far, his response was ‘I feel lucky to have parents who love me.
He described his
household as being ‘half way between busy
and he thought this environment would ‘suit’ a fostered child
as they all enjoy partaking in activities, even his Mum. When I suggested that he would be a good
role model for a fostered child, he blushed and said ‘yeah maybe’ however
following further discussions he agreed that he had so much to offer, including
sharing his friends, if appropriate in order to motivate a child to take part
in leisure activities.
He also confirmed
that his parents talked to them about a lot of things but they were ‘never smacked’. He said that his father Jonathan usually did
the disciplining which could involve time-out or loss of privileges such as
their newly purchased mobile phones. He
explained how he and his brother had to contribute £5.00 towards the monthly
payments out of their pocket money as they wanted the top of the range mobiles
rather than the one his parents suggested.
He also thought this was a positive way of him and his brother learning
how to budget their money.
The middle child
and very close in age to his elder brother.
There is only 14 months between them and both boys have a good bond,
displaying no sibling rivalry. He
attended St Thomas More school however is due to start secondary school in
He, like his
brother, is a charming young person whom I also found to be warm, welcoming,
intelligent & polite. He engaged
well with me and was open & honest about his views of fostering. He feels that his home would welcome a
child, preferably a girl aged 4 or 5 years as he gets bored of just having boys around
. He also thought his Mum Annette would like a little girl who she
could ‘sometimes do girlie things with’.
He said Annette was always taking them to the park to do ‘fun things’.
He described his
home life as being ‘fun’ whereby his parents like to be actively involved in
family time. He spoke to me about
having family meals together around the big table in the dining room which is
very child friendly, watching a family movie together on a Friday evening as
well as going to Danson Park and seaside trips etc. He said his Mum is a good cook and they all enjoy her chicken
& pasta. He also spoke about his
gran, Annette’s mother who comes to visit however he felt that she was ‘old now
so she doesn’t say much’.
He is very creative
in the kitchen and his Mum encourages this talent, He told me that he has a
special cupboard allocated to him in the kitchen with all his ingredients in as
he likes to specialise in baking cakes & cookies etc. He is also very good at photography, please
see family photo album attached which he put together for a Looked After Child
to see before they come to stay with them.
He was very chatty
about his parents and described his father Jonathan as being a person who lets
you ‘decide for yourself’. He stated
that he is not sure about god but that his father would only enter into
conversations with him about it if he wanted to talk. When I asked He about the chapel upstairs, he replied that they
were not allowed to play in it but if they wanted to use it for a quiet space
He also confirmed
that the family do not believe or use physical punishment and that his father
Jonathan has used a ‘behavioural contract’ with them before as well as positive
The youngest of the
sibling group has lots of energy and is more than capable of letting his
parents and brothers know about his wishes & feelings.
He currently attends St Thomas More and like his brothers, he is
well liked and achieving alongside his peer group. He is also actively involved
in sports and currently plays football & basketball for his school
team. He wants to introduce a Looked
After Child to his friends so they will have ‘someone to play with’.
He was very excited
about meeting with me and sharing his views of fostering. He really is a
lovely, vibrant little boy, always happy and smiling and moreover willing to
talk about his parents, brothers and extended family members.
When I asked him
about his family life, his eyes lit up and he could not wait to tell me about
all the ‘naughty things’ his parent’s let him do. He said they didn’t have to go to bed on new year’s eve until
they fell down asleep. He feels that
Christmas is ‘magic’ in his house as his father ‘lights it all up’ and all the
children in the street post their letters to Father Christmas at his
I asked him if they
received presents at Christmas time and he replied ‘yes, loads but we cannot open them all up at once’.
ran through the day which appeared to be full of festivities and fun as
well as extended family coming over to visit.
Annette was central to all of this and her cooking was well respected,
as opposed to Jonathan’s. All three
boys made comment and fun about Jonathan’s ‘crazy ideas’ when it came to
cooking and all seem to prefer Annette’s cooking.
He told me how he
always has a bed time story read to him by either parent and that he wouldn’t
mind if this had to happen in another room before going to bed, if there was a
Looked After Child living with them. He
is only 7 years old however he was able to understand that some children may
not feel safe to have a story read to them in the bedroom. He was actually quite insightful and
creative with his ideas about how this might be managed in order to still keep
story time on the agenda.
celebrations were his favourite times
and he spoke at length about how this happened and why he loved it so
much. It was evident that Annette and
Jonathan place a huge emphasis on celebrating achievements and making sure that
the child in question has their individual time & attention.
Jonathan have a secure and close relationship and both are very child focused
in terms of their parenting style.
They have equipped
and prepared their children appropriately for fostering and I am confident that
as a family, they will manage the transition well.
I am certain that
they have taken into consideration the impact fostering may have on their own
children and I am confident that they will manage the fostering task.
Annette and Jonathan have an open and clear
communication style with each other as well as with their children, so any
issues/concerns will be discussed at an early stage and therefore a solution
All three children
have a secure attachment as well as a stable home-base and I feel that they are
resilient and able to express any concerns should any arise whist they become a
fostering family. All three boys are
confident, assertive and able to express their wishes and feelings freely, even
All children feel
that they can approach either parent and Annette and Jonathan remain
emotionally available to them. As a
family, active listening is firmly on the agenda so I do not feel that Annette
and Jonathan’s children are vulnerable in any way at this time.
Jonathan are attuned to their children’s needs so any change in their behaviour
would be noted at a very early stage and I am confident that both parents would
take appropriate steps to address it.
In addition and probably by way of Jonathan’s spiritual
work, he appears to have an ability to see the world through a child’s eyes and
moreover he seems to have an innate ability to speak to children and motivate
them to be the best that they can be. (See also reference from the Revd Canon
Dr David Kennedy in Sec C who corroborates this.)
Jonathan have realistic expectations about fostering and I am confident that
they will manage the competing demands, whilst continuing to safeguard and
promote the welfare of their own three birth children.
Annette will be the
main carer however Jonathan’s work is flexible and therefore he will be fully
integrated into the fostering task.
As a couple, they
fully understand that the needs of a Looked After Child have to be prioritised
however both are of the view that together, they will be able to meet those
Jonathan were able to take on board that Looked After Children may need
additional support when they are placed, as often, they can be behind their
peers in terms of their behaviour and development. Annette is a very warm and nurturing woman who is resilient and
very sympathetic towards children who have suffered abuse and trauma in their
own lives. Jonathan’s patience,
encouragement & spiritual expertise will also be an asset to children and
young people who are stuck or perhaps having difficulty in managing their
emotions or expressing themselves to adults.
Both I feel, will be able to see the world through a child’s eyes and
with professional support from their SSW, I feel that they will be able to meet
the child’s current and ever changing needs as well as be able to promote their
welfare in accordance to their care plan.
I found Annette and
Jonathan to be skilled in communication and both maintain a non-judgemental and
child centred approach. They are also
an active family and both continue to encourage their own children to
participate in constructive leisure activities, which in turn, will build up a
child’s self-esteem as well as help them to initiate and sustain positive
relationships with their peers. This support will be significant and paramount
to a Looked After Child and in certain circumstances, a real life changer.
three boys are open to sharing their home as well as their parents, so I do not
anticipate any problems that cannot be resolved at a very early stage of
concern. Annette and Jonathan were also
previously approved as foster carers with an IFA so they do have some knowledge
& experience of the competing demands of fostering, as well as some of the
issues that can arise as a result of looking after other people’s children.
Jonathan have an extremely good insight into the components that make up our
sense of identity, or describe who we are as a person. Both are attuned to their children and I
would say to others as well and in addition, I found them both to be open to
new ideas and able to take advice on board.
Given all of Jonathan’s worldly experience, he never once thought of himself
as ‘knowing everything’ or interrupted when others were speaking about their
views, even if they were more simplistic.
I have no concerns
in this area of practice and I am confident that they will be more than capable
of meeting the needs of a Looked After Child placed with them in terms of their
identity. Both have addressed issues of
diversity during their lives and I am confident that they will be able to
support a child to address any issues of diversity that may arise whilst they
are placed in their care.
Annette and Jonathan are a very warm & secure couple who
always maintain clear communication as well as clear boundaries for their
children. Therefore, I am confident that if fostering children was starting to
affect their relationship they would both be able to discuss this at a very
early stage in order to address any difficulties they may be experiencing.
Their day to day lifestyle is very suitable for Looked After
Children and I would anticipate only minor changes following a child being
placed with them. This I feel would be
around the school runs.
Annette and Jonathan are aware of the commitments around
contact arrangements and both feel that this is a very significant part of the
child’s life. During the assessment,
both were able to ascertain the importance of maintaining relationships for
children in care and I feel that this is something that Annette & Jonathan
will do well.
A fostered child
will have a positive experience of family life and a very warm welcome when
they arrive at placement.
I am confident that
a ‘fostered child’ will have a positive experience of family life as well as
feeling the security of their ‘stickability’ as individuals as well as a secure
Jonathan have a broad range of experience of caring for children from the ages
of 0-18 years.
I believe that they
have the appropriate knowledge and skills to provide placements to all of our
Looked After Children, as well as our adolescents.
their first year of practice they will develop the confidence needed to support
children with more complex needs as I firmly believe that they have the skills
to manage this.
In addition to the
above and by way of their nature, I am of the view that Annette and Jonathan
will be able to manage the needs of children who have a learning disability or
children that have suffered abuse & neglect. Both were very insightful during skills to foster training and
both have had previous fostering experience so they are not entering this
process wearing rose tinted glasses.
Jonathan were able to recognise symptoms of abuse during training as well as
within the assessment process.
Jonathan have a healthy attitude towards training as well as further developing
their skills as carers, so I am confident that as their experience grows and
their children get older, they will also be able to work with traumatised
children who are displaying anti-social / oppositional type behaviours. Furthermore, I feel that Jonathan’s
spiritual pathway and certainly his patience will be an asset when working with
traumatised children & adolescents.
Jonathan are aware of the importance of promoting
contact arrangements for Looked After Children and both, are fully committed to
promoting these arrangements in line with the child’s current care plan. Annette was very compassionate when we
discussed contact arrangements stating ‘can you imagine how a child would feel
if they thought they would never see their family again’.
was also insightful into some of the reasons why contact might be difficult for
a child i.e. they feel like they are betraying or being disloyal to a parent
and what she could do to help minimise a child’s distress over these
spoke about defining roles i.e. child led and allowing the child to make
for example about what name they would like to refer to you as and to also be
aware that this may change depending on where the child is i.e. in the school
playground it may feel easier to the child to just say ‘bye mum’ etc.
is also a very creative thinker so if the child needed additional support or
perhaps some quality one to one time for reflection or fun, I believe that
Jonathan would easily fit that role.
Furthermore, if a child was in their care around Christmas time or a
time of personal or cultural celebration, I am confident that Annette and
Jonathan would make an enormous effort to help the child celebrate in the face
of any adversity.
I have experienced Annette and Jonathan as
being warm, loving and open people who genuinely appear to want to make a
difference to a child’s life. Annette
is very transparent and filled with love for children whilst Jonathan is always
seeking to promote opportunities, including facilitating a sense of adventure
that will help them to grow and develop alongside their peer groups.
and Jonathan also understand the importance of Looked After Children
maintaining links with their birth family and friends and both are willing to
facilitate these arrangements. Annette and Jonathan both drive and there are
two cars in the family so practically, I do not envisage any problems with
Annette and Jonathan have very good interpersonal skills and I am confident
that they will be able to work with birth families, even if difficulties
arise. Jonathan has a good
understanding of conflict management and he would be able to de-escalate a
situation, as would Annette in order to minimise the harm or conflict for the
Annette and Jonathan have been married for over 13 years and maintain a
loving and close stable relationship. They reside in a beautiful 6 bedroom
house in Welling with their three children, and their family pet, Fluffy the
dog. Jonathan also has two children,
from his previous marriage.
They are a warm and
caring couple who will be a stable and reliable fixture in a child’s life. Annette and Jonathan have the qualities that
we look for in foster carers as they are a flexible, transparent and realistic
in their approach. They understand
that children will come to placement with emotional baggage, however I have
observed their parenting styles with their own children and they are attuned
and therefore, will be able to meet the needs of a child placed with them.
Jonathan is also a
spiritual person who is skilled in communication and will therefore be an asset
to a child, in terms of helping them to deal with issues around separation
As a couple, they
are both accepting of others, emotionally available as well as possessing a
positive parenting style approach.
Behaviour management of a Looked After Child, in my opinion should come
naturally to them as it will not be too dis-similar to the way they parent
their own birth children. Supporting
children to build resilience & raise self-esteem is something that I am
confident about; as Annette fully understands the need for children to overcome
the adversity they have experienced in order to make a successful transition to
Annette is a stay
at home mum so she is available on a full time basis to meet the needs of the
children placed. She is a very
resilient and resourceful woman who has managed to move forward in life and
overcome extreme hardship and childhood trauma. The parenting she received as a child, has not in any way
impacted on her ability to display emotional warmth to her own children and
moreover it has not prevented her from safeguarding & promoting her own
children’s welfare. In contrast, I believe
that Annette is a loving & caring person who always places the needs of her
children before that of her own.
Jonathan remains in
practice as an independent Archbishop and therefore his availability and
working hours remain flexible.
Jonathan was able
to share intimate details with me by way of having to discuss and explore the
break-up of his marriage . Jonathan remained available to me as the assessor
and ensured that he continued with the assessment process irrespective of the
pain it was causing him. Annette was
fully supportive of Jonathan during this time as well as remaining engaged with
me as appropriate to the assessment.
The children from his first marriage corroborated Jonathan’s version of
events pertaining to him being a wonderful father.
I feel Annette and
Jonathan demonstrated a real commitment to the assessment process whereby I
found them to be open and honest and both; were able to continue with the
process even during times of great emotional difficulty, which further
evidences their ‘stickability’ as potential foster carers.
Jonathan have relevant experience as they were approved as foster carers with
SFP Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) in 2000. They resigned in May 2003.
involvement with Annette and Jonathan, they have demonstrated good insight into
the needs of Looked After Children through attending the skills to foster
training as well as actively partaking in the assessment process and completing
all homework assignments set. They
worked on completing sections of their record & resource book
enthusiastically and both were able to reflect on their own experiences
appropriately. They were able to report on ‘what do foster carers do’,
including highlighting the things they believe they have to offer Looked After
Children in their care. As a couple,
they were able to draw on their life experiences, comprising what have they
learnt to date and what they feel they have to offer as foster carers for
Bexley. It was evident that with the
appropriate support of a SSW, as well as professional training they will be
able to provide a good standard of care to children who are placed with them.
I believe that a
child in foster placement with Annette and Jonathan and their family, will have
an inclusive, positive & nurturing experience of being in foster care.
Their home is very child friendly and there are be lots of opportunities to
enjoy & achieve as well as to engage in leisure activities.
Annette and Jonathan as being warm, kind, caring & nurturing. Honest and reliable were also a common theme
and I have to say that this has also been my experience when working with
& analysis, I have found no reason why Annette and Jonathan should not be
approved as foster carers for Bexley.
Jonathan's older children, informed me that he was ‘an amazing father’.
Their strengths are their closeness as a couple, previous
life experiences as well as their own parenting experiences. In addition, they also have previous
fostering experience and Jonathan’s day to day life as an Archbishop.
Their vulnerabilities as a couple are their previous actions
of not working in partnership with the SFP Organisation and this area of
practice in particular will be monitored closely by their allocated SSW, as
well as identified as an action to be addressed in Sec F as a training need, in
terms of promoting their on-going professional development.
On balance, I have thoroughly explored all concerns that
were brought to my attention as the assessor; and I have found no reason why
Annette and Jonathan should not be able to foster.
Therefore, I have no reservations in recommending that the
panel approve Annette and Jonathan as foster carers for Bexley Local Authority.
I recommend that Annette and Jonathan be approved as foster
carers for Bexley, to care for 1 child (2 if siblings), either gender from 0 – 18
years, with a preference of age 4-11 years.
Short-term, Emergency, Bridging or Respite Placements.
Annette &; Jonathan would also like to be considered for
a long term placement in the future; and they are aware that this means a
commitment to the child/young person post 18 years.
Facebook comments in reaction