Thursday, 14 March 2013
Just a quick update, we are still registered as Foster Carers but I took on a job until April, which put us on hold until my job comes to an end, we still have regular contact with the Agency and plan to become Respite carers to gain more experience, when we start fostering again I will continue to post on the blog.
Friday, 28 September 2012
Just read this thread on Mums Net Forum about a Drug Dependant Baby – I must say it is long and I just started to read the posts of” Earthmotherimnot” but what an insight – Fostering is a real carer and Foster parents are really at the bottom of the pile of “Professionals” and pay scale. What this Foster Carer had done is just so heart warming.
Friday, 21 September 2012
We have been registered now for three months. We did some respite care during the summer holidays for a FC for two weeks.
The Agency phoned a few weeks ago to see if I would accept twin babies aged 2 months which I said yes to, but the LA chose someone else.
A long Term Placement was also on the cards, we had been shortlisted and asked to have an interview with the Childs Social worker. The child had been matched to ourselves due to our lifestyle. We had a 2hr interview at our home and the meeting went really well. However I have just received a call to say that the Childs Social worker had chosen the other family due to them having more experience with teenagers. Their feedback was fantastic.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed, as I felt we had a lot to offer the child. His likes were very close to our families likes. I can see it from there point of view, Long term placements are like a forever family to the child and the Social workers need to try and make the right choice, Obviously I don’t have any experience with teenagers and looking at it from their point of view how will I cope when this time comes.
Well I feel that yes I would cope. I have the agency to back me up for the support. I have my own support network, Friends and Family. My Mum and Dad can tell a few stories about me and my siblings and would offer very sound support.
I just keep thinking... the right child will come; I just need to be patient
Friday, 14 September 2012
Well since the “1st Placement” experience I have had a few meetings with our SSW. The Agency is really pleased how we coped and said we have gained “Years” of experience in that one day.
After the placement ended I was really down and discussing it all with my SSW, I realise that it’s all about grief. I would not have guessed it as she was with us for only two weeks
Typically, the seven (7) stages of grief are described as:
· Shock or Disbelief - I was in shock for a good few days it really took it out of me. The day the child left I went to my local supermarket to grab something quick and easy for tea – no way was I cooking after the day I had had. As I was walking round I saw someone looking at my feet oddly. I was wearing bright purple crocks – the shoes I had grabbed earlier in the day. They so didn’t match my outfit; they are my house shoes I never go out of the house wearing them. I smiled at her shouting in my head – “IF ONLY YOU KNEW THE DAY THAT I HAVE JUST HAD”
· Denial - We went off on holiday – We chilled and relaxed re grouped as a family
· Anger – Listening to friends I was annoyed that the Agency put the child with us
· Bargaining – If only I had done this!!
· Guilt – I should have taken more control when the police were at my house – The child would have been fine, we could have seen the placement out. Guilt of letting down the child, child’s SW and the Agency
· Depression – Not quite depressed but really grumpy – with my children and Hubby. Don’t know why
· Acceptance and Hope – It happened, time to move on. Changed the bedding in the foster bedroom and cleaned it ready for next placement. Looking forward to the next challenge and hope that the match is right for our family
I think I read somewhere on a forum – Your first foster child takes a piece of your heart but the next one replaces it.
Friday, 31 August 2012
Well, we were offered a two week respite placement during the holidays, which we accepted. We knew the child had some challenges, but with all my experience I thought "Well we can handle it". All I can really say is ‘wow’ what an eye opener. Children in the care system have some real issues which you can’t even imagine.
Most of the time the placement went well and we need to look at the positives, I had some lovely moments with the child such as baking. Also while watching TV she asked for a cuddle, obviously feeling she needed emotional support in this way. However was finding it very difficult to function in a family unit it was putting strain on our own family as the child would make the most “taken for granted” days out, such as picnics in the park extremely difficult with the child trying to abscond and me usually following at a distance leaving the family behind. She also had violent tendencies and on occasions she would nip so hard it broke the skin on my inner arm, bringing tears to my eyes.
It all started to come to a head when the placement was coming to an end, she didn’t want to leave us. Without going into much detail she absconded, we had no option to get the police involved. This child under the age of 8 was street wise but just ran out of the house. I grabbed some shoes and chased after her but she was gone. I went to the local park, no sign of her. I checked the main road – no sign. Luckily I had my mobile on me so as I was looking I phoned the police.
Dealing with the Police was an experience in it’s self and I can’t say anything bad about the Police, they were so professional and supportive. I have always been on the right side of the law and to see a side of policing that I had not experienced before was just astonishing. They was very quick arriving and started to take descriptions of her appearance and areas she had visited. They also searched the house in the event she had snook back in to the house and hid, it was just an eye opener. The police have a Missing Persons policy and say if someone is missing (any age) the sooner they are reported the better as they are more likely to be found.
After 30 minutes, the child was found in the local Supermarket and gave the police a chase – I must say the CCTV must be like a Benny Hill scene. I went and collected her and the police stayed with us. As the child was agitated and looking for an escape route they decided to put a protection order on her and asked the LA to have her removed as they felt that she was at risk to us and herself. Such as if she was to abscond at night she would be putting herself in danger.
The LA removed her the same day – However the police did note that she wanted to stay but it was in her best interests.
During the day I coped really well. I am the type of person who is calm in a crisis. But wow it hit me hard emotionally. I felt like a huge failure. Friends and family are saying how irresponsible the Agency were to put the child with us, as we have had little “fostering” experience and lack of “fostering” training but in all reality no one can predict the future and no one could have predicted the outcome leading to the end of this placement - All because she wanted to stay and it was her way of coping with it all
Friday, 6 July 2012
We have finished the FC Bedroom. We have painted it plain white. We were told that we would be given Pine Furniture, so we wanted a nice clean finish, modern “IKEA style”. The idea we could put bright furnishings like curtains and duvet covers. The idea is that the FC can put up posters to decorate the room to their taste.
The agency pay for bedding so I chose a bright set from Argos. Furniture was delivered and it’s white?!! Never mind the room still looks nice.
· We also needed to do some other minor adjustments, such as our stairs were not safe, the gaps between banisters were too wide so we have boxed it in with MDF.
· Needed to upgrade my Car insurance, to say I am a foster carer (£50)
· Contacted my Home insurance – they were fine (£0)
· Needed my Gas boiler serviced as Foster agency needed a copy of certificate (£50)
· Household Keys, window locks – need spares, labelled in a safe assessable place in case they are needed in emergency
· Bathroom needs a lock.
· Safety Kit – Electric sockets covers, draw and cupboard locks (well we may get a toddler) – Not fitted these as My hubby could do that in a jiffy if required
Friday, 29 June 2012
Well I have spent half the day making a book on word “All about the “Purplesheila” Household
This was recommended by my SSW and as I have worked in childcare for many years understand the transition process.
I didn’t really get any guidance however I split the book into different sections
· Our Family (Mum, Dad DD & DS)
· Pets (Dog, Cats & Chickens)
· Home (Front room, bedroom, kitchen and Garden)
· Local Area (School, Parks & shops)
· Family Activities (camping, Canoeing, Walking the dog, BBQ’s, fairs etc)
· Activities (such as swimming, brownies, Cubs etc)
I put photos in the booklet with labels of who we are and it should be given to all Foster Children before arrival so that they feel less apprehensive on arrival.
My SSW was really pleased – she said she hadn’t seen one done as well and hopefully it’s going to be used as a template for all Foster carers in the agency J