Need advice(6 Posts)
Hi hubby and I have been fostering since Nov 2011 our first placement lasted about a year but ended on really bad terms. The child was getting increasing contact with her mother and it was all over the place child began to lie about us and got extra contact we were reprimanded for being too strict by explaining the difference between right and wrong. She went to contact one day and her and her mother went to social work about us and in the end it was decided that she could just stay at home instead of coming back to us as it was likely her panel would just send her home. We never got a goodbye and really were made to feel that it was our fault. This was about 6 months ago. Today I got an email from our link worker suggesting we meet up with the child over the easter holidays as it is important for her to have an ending. I feel that she may see this as us opening up to be a regular contact. To be honest we were both heartbroken by the way it ended and have questioned if fostering is for us as we were made to feel like it was our fault, We have only had one respite placement since and I feel anxious at the thought of meeting up with this child again to me it is ended and she ended it the way she wanted and I dont see the point in opening up old wounds.
Are you in Scotland - as you mention "her panel" and I know there is a different system there. If you are in the UK then I think it is totally inappropriate and ridiculous for sws to now be saying, 6 months later that the girl needs an ending - of course she does, but it was the sws who did not give any thought to her having an ending.
Regardless of your own feelings which are totally understandable, I fail to see how it is in the girl's best interests to meet up with you. I think you should refuse on that basis. I suspect that the situation between the girl and her mother has run into trouble and the girl may be saying "why can't I go back and live with X and Y and this might be the LA being underhand about their reason for re-establishing contact.
I think you have been treated very badly. Ok some children do return home to parents from foster care, but this needs to be properly handled and done in a way that is in the child's best interests. You should be re-assured that it is nothing that you have done wrong, it is just that the LA believe that the mother and daughter can now be re-united. Yes you would still have felt badly, as many fcs are when children move on, but at least you would be able to think that you had given the girl a much needed period of stability, and with hope that things went well with the daughter and mother being reunited.
I am a retired sw manager for a LA fostering & adoption team but retired in 2009.
Hi thanks Nananina yes we are in scotland. The time when child left was a very stressful time and there were lots of other problems and I felt very unsupported by social work. I agree that I cant see it being a good thing for the child now after all this time and I think it will hurt her if we are to meet up like hi but goodbye theres not going to be any further contact sorry for getting your hopes up! It is being said to us that it is important for her being a vulnerable child and we have to do it.
Hi you are in a catch22 situation not uncommon with fostercare best too be non-judgemental in these situations just go with the flow. but make sure you keep an independent written record for your own protection and use, not for social services something you can produce if required. write a daily log., include reflections on the child,yourselfs, and birth family.
We have been in same situation many a time 37 year's fostering and still going strong. Do not worry about it.
I feel for you all Paulam1. Don't give up. Each placement is different, each team you deal with is different. If this helps, my current placement are still dealing with the trauma of an unexpected move and being unable to say goodbye so I would say closure is very important, maybe your FC keeps asking for one more contact, the child will know it is a final contact and not an opening for more. It will be difficult for you
hate it myself but afterwards you will also move on. Heartbreak is part of the job
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