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Thread: Thinking of fostering, but scared

  1. #1

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    Default Thinking of fostering, but scared

    For a long time DH and I have been thinking about fostering. We started the very early stages of the process and then got pregnant, but now are thinking of getting back into it.

    The thing is, I am scared about a few things. I'm scared it will be emotionally devastating- I have such a heart to want to give some love to these kids, but it will just kill me when they have to go back to bad situations. How on earth do you deal with that?

    I am also a bit fearful of the influence it will have on DS- I know foster kids can really have behavioural problems due to all the stuff they have been through- does this have any negative impact on your own child? Or do the benefits outweigh it?

    Would appreciate anyone's experiences!


  2. #2

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    You need to find an agency that you feel support & well educated by. When you go through the assessment process you learn about them as they learn about you.

    It's important to know what age range you are comfortable having, if you are prepared to take sibling groups ect. Be honest with your agency & don't be afraid to say no. I have turned down placements becasue they just would not be right for us, sure I feel guilty but you have to think of your family first.

    You will possibly encounter behavioural issues, when you go through your training alot of these will be discussed. At this time you will be able to decide what issues you feel comfortable having around your DS and what ones you don't. Never feel like you can't say I don't want that, it's not right for us.

    You do have to get your head around the children leaving and returning home. When a child is in foster care, the focus is family reunification. When one child leaves your care, there will always be another waiting to come in, so your care & support will always be needed.

    It will be hard & emotionally draining but there are so many children out there who need love & nuturing. The assessment and training process will answer alot of your 'is this right for us' questions.

    Good on you for exploring fostering, many more people like you are needed

  3. #3

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    I'm a youth worker and have always talked about fostering.
    I have heard of a few great organisations to do this through, although i don't know too much about the process.
    Good Luck though and Congrats on doing such an awesome thing!
    XX

  4. #4

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    Amberj - I've also thought about fostering and have the exact same questions that you are asking so I look forward to hearing other peoples' rsesponses.

  5. #5

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    You can state the age group you are willing to foster.
    We have a few families at church who foster and they usually have younger children.
    Our first foster child was 13 and needed a good kick in the backside when we got him. Saw him a few years later and he was working and doing well.
    Would not recommend this age group with small children in the house. Our DDs were 2 & 4 and it was a lot of work and they did miss out a bit due to his behaviour.
    All the best as you make the decision to foster or not.

  6. #6

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    I am a mum to seven children(two adopted) and have been a foster mum for six years.
    It is hard, tiring and rewarding. cSometimes it is heartbreaking and sometimes it can give you great joy.
    if you enjoy mothering and like the idea of having more kids then this is areally great option.

  7. #7

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    Just wondering if you are able to do foster care whilst working?
    It is something I'd love to consider at some stage in my life but don't know if they accept "working mums", I work 3 days per week.

  8. #8

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    My Mum fosters (at +60 years!), specifies that she will only take babies (at this point mostly babies who are going to be adopted as she finds dealing with access visits and the parents more difficult than dealing with the little ones) and toddlers. She will take siblings in an emergency where both are that young. She has taken care of some with medical conditions and has done training to be able to (one little guy was extremely premature so needed oxygen, for eg, and the little girl she has permanent guardianship of has CP. She's had a few babies who are suffering drug withdrawals straight from hospital).

    Some of the other foster-Mums she deals with work part-time, although they haven't always done so.

    I think it would require a great deal of commitment for a family to consider doing this. And your children and other family members will be required to make sacrifices. Even though my sisters and I are grown, my Mum and DD's Nana fostering has affected whether she can spend time with us, incorporating extra children into any holidays, family events, etc. It can be very tricky to work around your personal commitments and desires. And from our point of view, there are some children who we wouldn't want around our DD. We never made the decision to take this on (I hope this doesn't sound too selfish ) and we have to work around a disabled child every time we want to see my Mum. She has numerous behavioural issues and in many ways my DD misses out on her Nana. We don't live in the same city and don't have the freedom to just drop by and see Nana often. If she has multiple children it can be too stressful to even consider staying with her if we've planned a holiday, etc, etc. Finding someone to take the children you are fostering for a break or so you can fit in with your own family is not always easy.

    I don't want to take the gloss off the whole thing for you, but it is definitely not easy from what I see!
    Last edited by Jennifer13; July 6th, 2009 at 03:02 PM.

  9. #9

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    Jennifer that's great feedback, I really want to hear all sides- thank you!

  10. #10

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    We fostered for a while before having Sammy and Ruby. Our girls at the time were 10, 8 and 51/2. We provided respite care so the longest children stayed with us was for 6 weeks at a time. We specified that we did not want to have children older than our oldest but were asked to anyway. We were very firm in what we thought would be suitable for our family.

    Despite my mum being a Social Worker in Child Protection, we were not prepared for the practicalities of looking after some of these children with quite severe issues. In once instance, my then 8 year old became a target for hostility from a child staying with us as it seemed to be setting up a pattern she had had in her home environment.

    We had some lovely little boys stay with us. Although only having one spare room with two beds set up we were asked to have three boys several times for respite holidays whilst the parents were working through some issues, so they can stretch things quite a lot too to accommodate the needs at the time.

    Looking back I do have a fondness for all of the children and know the outcome of several of them and am happy they are going ok, but I could not do it again with young children in the house. I was not prepared for some of the issues that arose from staying in our home with regard to children comparing their own way of life to ours. Our children want for nothing, and have many toys a beautiful house, and the love and commitment of two very dedicated parents. Our hope was to share this with other children in need, but in some instances it seemed to amplify some of the children's own feelings of unworthiness and feeling unloved...as in ''why dont i have this'' rather than providing a safe haven like we had hoped.

    I can understand why there are so many older people who foster. We were by far the youngest at the time in our area, except for another couple unable to have children who had children placed with them permanently.

    Goodluck with whatever you decide

    Jo

  11. #11

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    I would LOVE to look into fostering, although not sure how they look apon (sp?) younger people doing so? I just feel like i have so much love to give! Sorry for hijacking; i will definately be lurking!

  12. #12

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    I would suggest finding some fostering agencies and booking in for information sessions for prospective carers, as I don't think they will gloss over the realities of fostering and it can give you a better sense of it may be something for you and your family. There are so many children in need, and so few families to help them. I think, and I haven't fostered, you need to have a strong and communicative relationship with your parter and be prepared for challenges and new experiences. That said, IMO all children deserve the right to have a safe and loving home environment, so I commend anyone that can provide that for a child in need.

  13. #13

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    yep , foster care can be challenging but our family wouldn't stop for all the tea in China.
    In fact, my children (12,12,12,13,15,17)got very upset when i mooted the idea of a short break.
    then yesterday we got asked to mind the CUTEST prem baby. very happy. yes we know we'll most probably have to give her back....but boy, is she going to be loved NOW

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