What's it like to grow up in the child care/foster system in the UK?
First of all I am not a foster child, nor have I ever been into foster care however my family have been foster parents for over 35 years, located somewhere in the UK, and I have obviously lived with them, grown up with foster children and also in many ways become a brother to foster children. I have also met other foster families and have seen the way they operate. For the sake of protection no names, location, nor specifics will be detailed on children I have seen and I will not disclose any information of the sort.So. What is it like for foster children in the UK, well at this point several factors come into play.BackgroundQuality of the foster familyThe child's attitudeTheir parentsLegal processesI will try to explain everything as best as I can from past knowledge.PretextMy family dealt primarily in younger children, aged newborn - 2yrs, although we have had up to aged 16 in the past, so my knowledge is better for younger children however I will include older ages experiences.Childs BackgroundThe child's background for coming into care was one of the most important parts of their experiences, for example the reasons they would move into a foster home could be because their mother accepted that she was in no place financially/mentally to look after the child and would willingly "surrender" the right to keep the child in her care (surrender is the legal term used in the UK to hand over the child) but it could also range to children being abused, which could involve beatings or worse, I'm sure I don't need to go into that. As you can imagine depending on which background you came from them the more of a troubled child you are likely to be, for example I have seen children terrified of men after their past experiences, I have seen children be given a toy and completely freak out, we would find out later this was because their past parents would give them a toy before beating them.Quality of Foster FamilyWhilst I respect everyone who is a foster family, and the point I am about to make is one that is few and far between it still does happen and therefore I feel it needs to be pointed out.Whilst there are a lot of training guides and pretraining to become a foster carer the fostering service has been faced with a lot of cuts in the past decade and this has meant that there are less social worker to visit more foster children, this means there are some cracks in the system and some foster families are very poor quality, for example they do nothing with young children to stimulate them to learn or develop, if a child is scared of them due to gender or biological similarities to their past life then they just ignore them instead of trying to change the child's view of adults, now is that acceptable? No not really, but whilst many blame the social workers from being friends with some the limits they have on them, for example only being allowed to travel so many miles per week or they have to pay the extra expenses, being expected to take on double or triple the amount of children that can be spread over an entire county.This can affect children as they become underdeveloped and no better than if they were at their original family.The Child's AttitudeChildren are complicated, psychologically, and different children deal with being put into the foster system differently, so some may feel like it's their fault, that somehow they were in the wrong and that they were sent here because they were bad, and others can come into care knowing why and knowing that it's for the best, sure they are scared but they are looking forward to a better life.With the first instance, this is the most common for ages 3 - 6 and the children would cry for hours upon hours blaming themselves and all you could do was to comfort them by treating them as a normal child, letting them cry into you as you do your best to reassure them that it was never their fault whilst also not mentioning that it was because of their mother or father as that would likely upset them more.Their ParentsThe children's parents could sometimes cooperate and sometimes they would do the exact opposite, in the UK until a legal ruling has been made to say the parents are definitely not fit enough to look after the child (if the child wasn't willingly surrendered) then the parents would get x amount of hours per week/day to see their child at a neutral location such as a foster centre, there were also some rules such as if parents were considered violent, such as pedophiles or had past convictions for assault, then foster parents and parents would never meet and parents would never know who the foster carers were and children would be given escorts home by police in the most extreme cases. So you see some parents could be very violent or aggressive and could fight for the child where they have no chance to win whereas others would visit, and would often thank foster carers for the job they are doing.Legal ProcessesUgh. That basically sums up the legal system in the UK for foster care and the transition to adoption, let me explain.In the UK a child cannot be adopted until a judge has deemed the parents unfit to look after the child, fine right? Well. No.Parents can delay this process by:Offering to go to halfway houses, to learn basic skills.Offer up a new family member who can be a legal guardian, doesn't matter who as long as they are related then they have to be fully checked.Asking for attempted living with the child, the parents basically live with the child in a foster home to see how they cope.These processes all get abused by parents and I have personally never seen any of the attempts succeed when they have been tried with children in our care, and are considered time wasters for both lawyers and parents whilst they try to build a solid case.Parents who willingly surrender I have the utmost respect for, the fact that they are allowing their child to gain a better future under conditions they know they could never meet is honourable and worthy of respect, however people who abuse their children and then delay court hearings or final decisions from being made are some of the worst in my opinion, I once watched a child physically shake on the sight of their parents, and yet there was nothing that could be done the child had to go daily to see them, the judge had to authorise checks on every family member they presented, the whole time this child would cry and ask not to go back.So I hope that is what you were after, I know I didn't give to much detail but unfortunately these events are the events of real children, ones who were all adopted to better families and are now happily living their life, and it's not my place legally or morally to reveal such information about them in the Internet.
How can I claim the VAT amount for items purchased in the UK? Do I need to fill out any online forms or formalities to claim?
Easy to follow instructions can be found here Tax on shopping and servicesThe process works like this.Get a VAT 407 form from the retailer - they might ask for proof that you’re eligible, for example your passport.Show the goods, the completed form and your receipts to customs at the point when you leave the EU (this might not be in the UK).Customs will approve your form if everything is in order. You then take the approved form to get paid.The best place to get the form is from a retailer on the airport when leaving.
As a child removed from their parent's care, due to abuse, and put in some sort of foster care, how did things work out for you in the end?
I was removed from my parent’s home at Age thirteen. I couldn’t have been more relieved. Nine months later I returned home, but things were never the same. The first time my Dad and Stepmother became upset with me and my sister they threatened foster care. And, that’s just what happened. I was back in foster care, tried living with my biological mother, then back into foster care. I went through a lot. Something in me kept pushing me along though. I never felt satisfied with what I saw, and believed their had to be more out there than what I saw.In the end, I’d have to say things did work out, relatively speaking. Of course, I had my share of issues. I had next to no support system, and still in the process of trying to figure out who I was, where I belonged, and of all those fun things. But, there are some major game changers that I was able to avoid.I grew up with a strong work ethic, so that worked in my favor. When I graduated from high school at eighteen. I already had a job and was able to rent an apartment the day following graduation. With out this, who knows what direction I could have gone. Maybe I would have went the homeless route, or welfare.I also never became pregnant until much later in life. Had I - my whole life would have turned upside down.My friends and I, during some of my teenage years, were into plenty of drugs and alcohol. It was the 70’s after all. While there were fun times, most were not if I was to be honest. I eventually left that world too. About ten years later, my best friend from that time consequently died from complications of drinking.With everything I experienced up until the age of eighteen, I could have easily gone down a different road.Ultimately, we do choose the direction in which we want to go. But so many factors play into those decisions and some adolescents truly aren’t capable of making right choices when they need to. I believe it would be completely unfair of me to credit myself for things working out the way they did.A couple big problems is that many foster children have never been taught to think of themselves in a worthy way, they often have little to no self value. Loving parental guidance is often a foreign concept. Well, the list goes on.Success for us, and/or things turning out good in the end, can look different from let’s say, a child in the Beaver Cleaver household. And don’t let anyone tell you that doesn’t exist. It does! I’ve met them. But I digress…In my late twenties I finally went to college and became an elementary teacher. Ironically, I was the first of five siblings to go to college.I want to acknowledge God in all of this. I don’t know where I’d be without him!
Which tax regulations are important for child care providers to know?
Childcare is a business.Each state - speaking for US here since no other geography is tagged - has its own mandates on the taxable events (from licensing in the state to licensing in that particular town/municipality), and without knowing those you can expose yourself to unnecesary taxes and fees.On top of that, there are special laws and regulations when it comes to the entity which is running the daycare business, and if you are a properly registered non-profit, then entirely different rules apply to you. No entity structure is tagged at this time to the question.When it comes to the running of the business, usable lifetime of PPE as well as fair use of premises needs to be re-confirmed with the accountant that specializes in this industry, otherwise you need to pause your business for about 4 years, get your degree in Accounting and then pass CPA exam, so you can be as knowledgeable as you can be. Or you can hire a CPA with those 4 years of experience and let that person guide you on what you need to know.If you were looking for the link to the tax code, it’s here:Child Care Tax CenterChild Care Provider Audit Technique Guidehttps://www.irs.gov/uac/irs-webi...Eight Key Federal Tax Issues Unique to Family Child Care Providers