We are new to fostering. When I say new, I mean that I have not actually formally discussed it with DH yet- we have spoken at length about it as Some of DH's family foster, but not actually in a "this is something we could do" sort of way. My big issue is, and its something I need to square in my own head before I plough on forward: When you have foster children, how do you reconcile yourselves to them going back home? Now I know that no child is supposed to stay with you forever and I 100% accept that. If a child is moved onto an adoptive family then I imagine that gives great satisfaction alongside the sadness. However I have seen children with truly appalling backgrounds come to our relatives house. There they are well fed, well clothed, have sensible and sympathetic boundaries and relationships. To then put these children back where they have come from seems almost cruel to me. I accept that they are returning to their own family, but they have had a taste of what life is like for most kids and then had that taken away. I think this may be me over thinking as I only have a bystanders experiences, as well as having a 9 yr old DS who leads a most comfortable life.
Sorry, posted too soon! So what I really wanted to know is, how do you deal with this particular aspect? Is it a big issue to you or are you generally accepting that some children have far more advantaged lives than others and you have done your bit to help a child in need? Thanks in advance
Well they don't go back until its deemed safe and their parents can meet their needs.
There are many reasons why parents can't meet their child's needs for a while - domestic violence, drug addiction, bereavement so it will really help to think of it as a short term measure (unless you foster long term like I do) which you have input into.
Yes, sometimes it breaks down again and the child returns to care but some families have multiple problems. It doesn't mean they're awful people.
If you do go through the process the courses will help you to think about it differently with less judgement and teach you how to support contact with the family
Laurie's post is well thought out and balanced, but of course there are times when you absolutely do not agree with the plan chosen for the child. To put it very bluntly, it is heartbreaking to see a child you've cared for for maybe 2 years be returned to a family who are just scraping through at the bare minimum level acceptable to SS. And with all the cuts and time targets being put on local authorities I do think this is happening more and more (what's even worse is seeing that child come back into care, and not being able to take them back yourself!)
You have to balance this down side of fostering against the more positive sides, but it is hard.
Some foster children can, do and should stay with you forever! Or at least until they are 18. Children should only go home if it is safe and appropriate (though we all know that isn't always the case, many SWs are furious at court's decisions not to grant care orders) and you would need to see it as a good thing for the child if they get to grow up in their birth family, even if you think you could provide a better standard of care. Many children have long term fostering as part of their care plan so if you want to commit to long term care that is possible.