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Thread: How to become a foster carer????

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Funky Town, Vic
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    7,070

    Default How to become a foster carer????

    I can't stand the thought of kids out there needing a home and somebody to love them. I have always thought about becoming a foster carer, I am going to start making the calls tomorrow.

    Can anyone tell me a little bit more - apart from the requirements I need etc, more like the real side of things. I know it won't be an easy job but any insight from anyone will be much appreciated.

    Sanks


  2. #2
    Jacinta7 Guest

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    I can give you advice about fostering, from someone that works at the front end of the system. I work for an organisation that removes children from abusive situations, and places them with foster families. Can I say, we are always crying out for more foster carers, as, unfortunately, there are too many children that need a good home. I suggest you contact a foster care agency in your area. A good way to ease yourself into it, may be to be a respite/emergency carer, which may be for a weekend, etc just to see how you go. You will also need to think about the age group that you want to care for. It can be a very rewarding job, but not without it's challenges. Good luck !!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    G.Waverley
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    Default reply

    Lulu2- you're such an angel, good on you, anyone will be darn right lucky to be cared for by you. Good luck sweetie.xx

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    1,551

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    All the best with it Lulu. Am sure anyone would be lucky to be looked after by you.

  5. #5
    katanya Guest

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    Lulu I am a respite worker on weekends, it would be a great way to start things off. YOu would need a working with children check, a house approval, suitable sleeping arrangements for the child, to have a safe house etc..

    I have worked with many foster parents over the years, and my parents used to foster. I have seen the good and the bad and the inbetween.

    Fostering is a very necessary things, but I do think before you enter into you need to be aware that the support by the agencies is sometimes not what is needed.

    My parents fostered street kids who had offended, we were part of a program that stopped them going into detention centres and offered them a secure home and people who were willing to help them. Our first foster child was great, he was the perfect candidate for a program like this, family was pulling him down, he was super sensitive, he and my mum had a bond, we had him for 8 mths, he got a job, off drugs, doing really well..unfortunately the family pulled him down again afterawhile..he worked through it eventually though
    we had many others most unfortunately ended up reoffending, some saw it like a easy choice instead of detention centre..it was too short a time to re shape someone's programing..great concept..just hard to do

    The positives are: you can impact in someone's life, in a positive way, you can share your home and heart with a child that needs some of that.

    Their behavior and school work may improve as a result.
    Your kids will realise that they are fortunate and that not everyone around has what they have.
    You will meet new people, social workers, other foster parents, will have access to info about parenting..etc..

    Okay the main things I remember as a child, and in my recent work as negative is: the contact with the parents (the department REALLY encourages this) depending on why the child is in care to how regularly and in what environment they see their parents. The child can often react very negatively after seeing their families, because even if they are abusing them, kids still love their real families.
    the lack of support from the department can get you down, the FSO's get swapped around regularly so just when you get to know them..they move on...
    the fact that the department will generally always act in the interest of the natural parent..they say they act in the child's best interest but I have seen it time and time again..squeaky wheels get the oil..

    Alot of the children come with negative behaviours, some of these can be worked through and have positive results quickly, other behaviors may take years and years of work, and sometimes the negative behaviours can stay, and distrupt your family.

    Something else you need to consider is you may have a child that offends, one of our foster kids made friend with the local kids and went on a spree of break and enters, my mum got to know our local police very well in that time..he also stole stuff from us and sold it..

    My best expereince as being a foster sibling:
    we had a young girl whenI was 14 sent to us short term until she was found another placment. they dont usually like the kids to be the same age as your own kids. I was 14 too. This girl had left Kings Cross after her girlfriend died of a herion overdose, she had been working as a prostitute down there. She and I become great friends, and she'd tell me storeis about her work 8-[ I was rather sheltered and naive..anyhow she stayed for about a month..we fought sometimes, but basically got on well..
    the day she left, she wrote me a letter and left it on my bed. She told me in the letter that no one "like me" (I guess she meant nice house, good family) had ever treated her like an equal before and that she would miss me and would never forget us..I showed my mum and we cried for ages about it..We tried to get in contact with her afterwards but weren't able to..I think perhaps just that small impact made everything our family had been through worth it...

    So what I am trying to say is enter it eyes wise open, it will change our life, sometimes in ways you never wanted or expected..but you also may get expereinces you never would have imagined..

    if you have any other questions I'll do my best to answer them!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Chickens.
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    4,989

    Default

    Lulu,

    Since you're in Vic, get into contact with your local DHS, they'll give you the info that you need.

    Best wishes.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Western Australia
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    Hi lulu

    We are foster carers and have been for 2 years. We are taking a break from it for now with our lil man arriving (i was just getting too tired) and probably wont be doing it again except to offer brief periods of respite care.

    We found it extremely rewarding yet extremely exhausting at the same time. We have had some fantastic kids come and stay with us, yet like other posters have mentioned they come with all sorts of different behaviours that while understandable can be very difficult to adjust to and adjust your own bios to.

    In terms of finding out how to get started contact DHS in your state...DCD in ours. They will let you know what to do. We had a room set up with 2 beds..however there were times when we had 3 siblings together with another pull out bed in the room. We live on a large rural block so have all the normal kid things like cubby house, trampoline, swingset, basketball hoops etc , not to mention a range in toys ranging from kitchenette toys, babies, book, puzzles etc. We received no specification as to what toys and things were needed..this was just what we had already for our own children. We had several interviews with a social worker working on family history, family support, questions about our marriage, how we function as a family..discipline..fun times etc. They set up various scenarios and wanted to see how we would respond to them in terms of children and their development and behaviours. They also set up an interview with our kids and talked about what it would mean if children came to stay in our house and the positives and negatives of this. They also did background criminal checks and wanted detailed character referees from various people.

    I think the general rule of not taking kids older than your oldest bio is a good one to follow. We generally tried to take kids that were younger than my youngest child however we did have several older children as well. There were some cases that we just had to say no to..for example w were asked to take a 13 year old boy for a school term. We just felt that with 3 young girls this was not in our family's best interests. Our hardest time was when we had a child aged 10 and her younger sister aged 2. My oldest was 10 at the time and the 10 year old little girl staying with us hit, swore, kicked, screamed..my 8 year old became the brunt of her anger with name calling and on one occasion being hit. This was really really hard on my kids....because no amount of explaining to my bios about how hard some childrens lives are and this is why some behaviours are present could excuse the fact that my child was no longer feeling in a safe environment.

    For us we also found that while our interests were on providing a caring and nurturing home for children in need while they needed to be away from home, we found that it also created resentment because our family life was so different to what they had experienced. This was not something we had anticipated. Many children especially older than 7 did not want to leave and were torn between feeling anger and frustration seeing how other children are loved and treated. We felt bad that we created any conflict in these guys little lives just by simply offering a loving home.


    Anyway hope this helps..best of luck on your fostering journey if its one you decide to go ahead with.

    Jo

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