some advice needed. Our two are coming up to their first annual medical. They are placed out of area. We had a phone call today from the placing authority LAC nurse saying she wants to see them both at our house for up to two hours after school. As kinship carers the children aren't fully aware they are LAC and we are officially foster carers they just think social workers are around because of their birth family.
Their initial medical was at the local community hospital which feels more appropriate than our front room. We are trying to normalise life and having professional who none of us have met come in and ask intimate questions in their home seems insensitive. Could we ask for it to be done in our doctors surgery or similar which is a more normal venue in our opinion. Thanks
Hey polly not too knowledgable I am afraid but didn't want to read & run..... I feel sure if you contact the childrens s/w they will agree with your sentiments.... I think sometimes these things are a box ticking excerise & the nurses are under pressure to complete.... maybe this was her quickest solution?
Good Luck I hope you can resolve it.... I hope imp or others of our wonderful f/c are along soon to offer you better experienced advice xxx
Xx moo xx
Proud single adoptive mummeee to brothers baa & skweek 14 & 13 .....
Thank you Moo. I think it is box ticking as well. Having thought about it we are going to ask the SW to arrange it elsewhere. It will be interesting to hear what happens for other members,
Thank you for all the work you all put in to running the forum. It is invaluable. I found a useful link on the government's consultation on planning for permanence with talks about flexibility to avoid intrusion into family life.
it's not really a tick box exercise. the children I have had placed over the years have sometimes had significant health issues picked up that would other wise have been undiagnosed without these medicals or from the referrals the medicals result in (is not a given that referrals are made but I've had them do it with some children).
you could certainly ask for the medical to be done else where, it was probably arranged at home to allow the children to feel less ill at ease and becoz they are from out of county the lac nurse may be trying to prevent you travelling with them, but if you explain the reasons you want it else where I think the question that will come up is why the children do not know that they are looked after children. they really should know this just as adopted children should know they are adopted, and i'm surprised to be honest that no one has explained to them why they are living with you. children's imaginations can go wild with half truths and even if they aren't saying anything to you they may have made up any kind of story in their own heads for why they live with you. the way mainstream and kinship foster carers care for their children is different in many ways to the way they care for their own birth or adopted children, there will come a point where that may well be questioned by them, or others. or other people will say something to them and tell them they are fostered (or some assumptions about their birth family). you can normalise family life as much as you like but the truth remains that they are in foster care with you, they are involved with sw's and other professionals becoz of their LAC status and they really ought to know that, and why. anyway, you didn't come on for a lecture about telling them so i'll shut up now!
foster carer for babies and toddlers, and also an adoptive parent.
After our first rather disastrous medical, it was then agreed I would do the questionnaire bit with the nurse without the children and she just came into their school one day to check their height and weight (which actually was unsuccessful too as they wouldn't go near her or even stand on the scales so never got done).
We are probably now on a blacklist and would be denied entry to the health centre where we had our first one. It was after school , they kept us waiting for over half an hour (despite us being the only people there) before showing us into a room so cramped the nurse could only close the door if I stood and held my chair out of the way. Over an hour later she finally admitted defeat and said she would come and see me separately at home. I think the final straw was when Tsunami ripped the telephone off the wall and hurricane bit through its cable. I had pleaded and pleaded for it to finish before then (initially when hurricane threw the computer keyboard across the room so hard it chipped off plaster from the wall, and then again when tsunami took his shoes off and was hitting me round the head with them). As we finally left, Tsunami picked up a stone in the car park and threw it onto the nurse's car windscreen causing it to crack. After going back in to apologise we then left again - and when all the staff came out to go home about fifteen minutes later we were still there as hurricane was kicking our own car so hard that it had a row of dents in it.
I have become a lot better at looking after their needs rather than complying with requests from so called professionals who really don't have a clue what we're trying to deal with.
Sorry for the waffle (fond memories!) but what I'm trying to say is, go with whatever works best for your children. For us, the lac medicals seemed to be only a paperwork exercise and the boys did not need to actually be there. Lots of medical stuff should have been picked up on in the total seven years they were in care - but none of it was!
I agree that much of the LAC medical paperwork can be completed without the children present, and I agree that LAC medicals can seem to be a total waste of time (especially when the child/ren have been seeing a paediatrician on a regular basis immediately prior to the LAC medical).
However, there is a duty of care that must be maintained by both the LA and the LHA, and unless the child has been formally adopted then those Authorities have to carry out that duty-----OK, I know that some are sadly lacking in many ways, but that doesn't mean that all should sink to that pathetic standard.
Like lobs, I am a little surprised that the children are not aware of their status, though possibly this may change as they become older?
Also, I suspect that as you are out of area the LAC nurse thought that it might be more comfortable for the children to be in surroundings they know, especially as most of the 'medical' is assessing how they are developing emotionally and socially. It should not be physically intrusive.
I agree with the others that the children should know they are LAC as part of their life story. You can't really brush it under the carpet as you have SS involvment until you adopt them?
I think they were asking to do the medical at home with the best of intentions, to try and make it easy for the children, rather than going to some medical centre. In my experience LAC medicals are pretty basic and if they were done at home it would be far easier to let the kids go upstairs after the weighing measuring bits are done and then you could answer the questions without them being aware/listening in.
You know the children best, and if you think they would be better off somewhere more formal, than go ahead and ask if it can be done in a room at your GP's surgery or where ever, but personally, I'd prefer to have it done at home where my children would be more relaxed about it and maybe it could be used as an opportunity to talk about why they are LAC, why they are living with you and what your intentions are regarding their future with you is.
I can't remember if you are intending to adopt them or not.
I think that talking about older children who have a permanent placement as still being LAC can be tricky. My two had been told during Life Story Work - that continued into the early days of our placement - that they were now being adopted. I don't think they had any idea before then that they were LAC (despite their age) and the whole 'adoption' thing was just terminology that they didn't understand. They were told, and began to get some understanding of, that this was a forever family and they would not be moving again.
Our adoption order was a long time coming but they had already taken my name and felt they were 'adopted' because that's what the social workers had told them. It would have completely rocked their world to realise that actually they could still have been moved/weren't adopted. I do think they had been badly handled in terms of their life story prior to coming to me and their social worker was particularly hopeless and certainly never spent the time alone with them she should have done etc. They were very confused and thought their Foster family were their parents (yet were not babies or toddlers when placed with them).
It was all a shambles and I can understand that it may not be easy to be perfectly clear as it's a very difficult balance.