Big Q

Should foster children be able to choose their foster

Joan Scott -Inspired Services
Foster children should have a choice. The child is already
unsettled before going into foster care. When I was fostering
children, it would have helped if children had had a say. They
should be able to visit the home first and have a look at it, to
see whether they like it or not. They should have a choice of
staying or leaving.

Jean Stogdon – Grand-parents Plus
It’s a pipedream in the present climate. It’s more about
where you can push a child in than about choice. Choice would be a
very good thing, but it won’t happen with the national shortage of
foster carers. If kinship care were better used, there could be
more choice. Most children want to be placed with their family
network – it’s traumatic going to a stranger.

Karen Shook – Disability equality adviser
I don’t think that all foster children should decide who
their foster parents should be. But children in care are not always
given the right support or the opportunities to develop a personal
care plan that includes their needs, views and aspirations. Older
children should be fully involved with their life-planning.

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
Foster children should have some input. Whether that
extends to choosing or not, I’m not sure, because it seems
difficult to arrange. Perhaps a short probationary period of just a
few days, in which either party can withdraw, would suffice. Both
sides should have full information about each other before
arrangements are made.   

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