Top tips for your first H&S visit

Elinor’s story

May 15 2020

Elinor and Mona

To be a foster carer, you may need to make a few quick and easy changes to your home to ensure it is suitable for the children who may come into your care.

Hi, my name is Elinor and I am part of the team here at Fostering Hampshire Children. A few fun facts about me, I have a beautiful Labrador Puppy called Mona, she has stolen the hearts of me and my husband! My favourite chocolate treat is a crunchie rock… its worrying for me that they only come in sharing bags, I must stop myself! And I am a big fan of travelling, I have done 3 road trips in the USA, one with my best friend, one on my own and one with my Husband!

My role is quite varied in a such that I am one of the first people you will speak to on your fostering journey, as well as throughout the process. You may see me at recruitment events or hear me when you call our duty line. One of my roles is that I undertake Health and Safety Visits on the homes of the applicants, when they are assigned an Independent Social Worker. I come and visit the home early in the assessment to discuss how a house needs to be kept with foster children.

There are a few changes that homes need to make to have foster children, although for many people these are quick and easy changes. For example, all kitchen knives, lighters and matches need to be stored out of sight in a child-proof drawer in the kitchen. The same goes for medicines and alcohol which ideally need to be locked away. Another thing we look for is that plugs are not overloaded, too many plugs into an extension lead can be a fire hazard, and so we look for tidy cables. From the first health and safety visit it is usually three to four months until the next visit and then we come and check all the essential changes have been made. We are available throughout the process to help find the best (and cheapest!) way to sort the issues.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us! We like answering questions about the process as it keeps our brain fresh!”