Becoming a Fosterer when you have a child

(85 Posts)
Boomerwang Sat 19-Jan-13 02:01:54

I'm interested in becoming a foster carer. I have one child of my own. She is 10 months old at the moment. I am able to have more children, but I feel an urge to love a child who is already in this world and perhaps isn't experiencing the love that I so readily give to my daughter.

Before I delve deeper into this world, I'd like to know a few basic expectations. I would appreciate any links or advice you guys could give me.

Thank you very much in advance.

MoelFammau Mon 28-Jan-13 14:06:21

Thank you Rhubarb. Again though, I have to point out that in my case I can only offer my own room for a foster child so I am forced to have one child (or 2 siblings) under 12 months whether I want this or not. This is what the LA has told me is acceptable for them.

I feel all your examples of 'bad experiences' involve much older, multiple children. Which is what I won't be getting due to my living situation.

sillymillyb Mon 28-Jan-13 20:00:16

You are correct Moel if you only have babies up to 12 months then you will not face the issues we have outlined above.

However, it is a slippery slope and I cannot see either a) there being enough under 1year olds to keep you in a steady stream of them nor b) social services not encouraging you to find a way to have older children.

That aside, the issues facing your daughter should you only have under 1's are that she will have to share her mum - babies are time consuming, she will have to come second best to their needs because at times, babies cannot wait where as older children can.

Visitations - she will be exposed to potentially unsavoury relatives (either at your home or in a contact centre) She will have to wait around while contact takes place - in young children this can be very regular.

The constant influx of babies she has grown to love coming and going as they either grow too old for your 12 month age restriction, return home or are adopted.

As I have said above, if you only have under ones, you are right, the issues we have outlined in earlier posts are unlikely to be relevant to yourself - that still doesn't mean that your dd will be untouched by the situation though, just that there are different consequences.

plainjayne123 Mon 28-Jan-13 21:21:34

sillymillyb you are beginning to sound desperate!! Your arguments are now getting silly and have already been covered many times in this thread.
It can be great to foster with birth children, mine love it and lots of others do as well.

amillionyears Mon 28-Jan-13 21:30:51

plainjayne123.
I feel you are lacking some compassion.
And understanding.

Your use of the words scare stories is wrong.

And accusing people of exagerated truths, when you dont know the posters,
isnt right either.

I think it may be time for MNHQ.

sillymillyb Mon 28-Jan-13 21:47:51

moel said our earlier examples did not apply to her, I agreed and pointed out the factors that did. what is desperate about that?

a million, I considered reporting plainjayne to mnhq too, however her comments speak volumes about herself, and perhaps it's best that everyone can see what she truly thinks. I'd love her to take a look at the we believe you campaign mind, not that I have any hope she would take it on board.

Boomerwang Mon 28-Jan-13 21:54:18

Sorry I haven't checked this thread for a while. The responses on here have been brilliant (apart from PlainJayne hmm

I have decided based on this thread that I would not be cut out for fostering. I'm not the sort who can solve problems easily by myself. I call out for my boyfriend's help if my own child is sick on me!

THERhubarb Tue 29-Jan-13 09:43:15

I'm pleased you came to the right decision Boomerang. I also think that with your first child under 1 you really don't have perhaps enough experience of parenting just yet. I advise that you make the most of your child, that you surround her with love and perhaps take up childminding so that you build up your experience of children (not all children who live with their parents come from 'normal' backgrounds so you will have to deal with challenging behaviour in some form).

Once your child gets older, if you still want to foster then perhaps include your dd in your decision and get her views on it.

You are obviously a very caring and loving person with a lot to give and your dd is very lucky to have you as her mum smile

My next door neighbour is now a foster carer. Her own children have grown up and left home. She signed up for short term fostering, has a 4yr old with her at the moment and has agreed to care for her until she turns 16. She also fosters a baby. The baby has regular visits, in my neighbour's home, by his birth mum.

Every local authority is different and whilst some may advocate meetings in a staffed centre, others don't have the facilities and will encourage visits to take place at the carer's home. Likewise some authorities may have a few children under 1 on their books whilst others may be desperate for placements for older children. It pays to do the research with regards to your OWN local authority and also talk to other foster carers in your area to discover what their experiences are.

It is a worthwhile thing to do and it gives children the chance to experience a caring home environment but that should not be at the expense of your own children. If it works for some then that is brilliant but it's not a situation that would work for everyone and certainly is not something that you should go into thinking that all will be rosy and bright. You have to consider the worst case scenarios too.

I think that plainjayne's dismissive and offensive attitude is worrying and I wonder plainjayne how open you would be if your children did ask you to stop fostering. Would you be as equally dismissive of them and their concerns as you are with ours?

MoelFammau Tue 29-Jan-13 21:53:56

That's a great post, Rhubarb.

Bumble86 Wed 24-Apr-13 14:02:19

Firstly, I hope no-one minds that I am commenting, it is not intended to open up wounds. I did however go looking for a topic/thread such as this and I decided to read all of the posts.

Our family includes our bd who is 18 months old, she has had me as her main carer since birth.

I am definitely considering a lot of what has been posted, some may not think this right or balanced, but we don't wish to wait another 10,15 or 20 years. If we didn't take great risk then would anyone ever foster? There is a real shortage.

We are not applying to foster because I can't have more children, we want to make this our life, my career and believe we have chosen the right IFA for us.

Our bd won't be able to immediately tell us how she feels, but we will respond to her and definitely allow the opportunity for expression as she grows.

Everyone is individual and I respect the fact that others are entitled to disagree.

ColG Thu 25-Apr-13 15:21:12

I've found this very useful to read, especially the real life experiences of TheRhubarb and SillyMilly - thank you so much for sharing.
Over the years I have thought on and off about fostering, and now that my youngest is almost 14 I'm looking into it again.
My biggest fear has always been about the effect it will have on my kids, so I really believe that I will always put them first.

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