When do you give up on a child you are fostering?

(44 Posts)
Roshbegosh Thu 13-Jun-13 04:34:14

We are having a terrible time with a 12yo child that has been with us for a few years now. One thing after another and he smoked some weed this week, was in a fight, had a school exclusion etc. we love him but he is making us miserable all the time. The SWs don't exist basically, so shite, that is another story. If we give up on this boy he will end up in a childrens home and most likely go downhill fast. Horrible dilemma. Don't say ask LA for support, have done, no response AGAIN. Feel torn, stressed, miserable and knackered.

burberryqueen Thu 13-Jun-13 04:48:07

He smoked some weed got into a fight and was excluded from school? and now you want to give up on him? after how many years?
that poor child.

burberryqueen Thu 13-Jun-13 04:48:56

how can you even say you love him? you call him 'a child'

Chubfuddler Thu 13-Jun-13 04:55:16

Helpful Burberry

In what way is "a child" an inaccurate description? And in any case what on earth does your picking about semantics do to help?

I wish I could help but no experience op. hope someone who can help reads this later this morning.

burberryqueen Thu 13-Jun-13 04:57:44

well i dont know it just sounds cold that is all.

Labootin Thu 13-Jun-13 05:13:44

Agree with Chub .. The OP sounds at the end of their tether ... I didn't see anything wrong with child .. Er at 12 that's what he is!

And soz I have no helpful advice it sounds v stressful and I hope you get some help

I take it you're in the UK ? Try and go back to bed !!

Roshbegosh Thu 13-Jun-13 05:14:39

Yes saint fucking Burberry, that is a snapshot of the last week and it is hell. Constant insults and refusal to do anything, we have lost control and don't know what to do. My husband is evidently a cunt.
He is a child, what are you talking about? Would you prefer DC? Is that warm enough for you?

Labootin Thu 13-Jun-13 05:18:08

Ooo crikey OP I'm getting all slushy maternal on you and want to do the pat and shush on the back thing so you can get some sleep

It's too early for arguments

SanityClause Thu 13-Jun-13 05:22:47

Try the fabulous MaryZ's thread, here.

And have a bit of handholding.

MrRected Thu 13-Jun-13 05:26:56

Rosh - you poor, poor thing. Please ignore Burberry's ridiculous posting. She/He obviously has no experience of 12 year olds or fostering.

Whilst I have no experience of fostering I do have a 12 year old son. I am lucky that he isn't doing the things your foster son is doing. If he did, decided to do those things, however, I'd basically be screwed. He's a child but at 6 foot tall and 140lbs, there is nothing I could do to restrain him. He drives me to absolute distraction - to tears some days, so I can fully empathise with you.

Is there any way you could remove your foster son from the situation he is in now? Is there any possibility of changing schools for example? It sounds to me like he's in the with the wrong crowd. You are not only up against his behaviour - you are also battling outside influences (which you have little control over).

He's old enough to understand the impact of his behaviour on other people. I was going to suggest that you sit him down and jointly decide on his currency and then if he acts out again be consistent by removing his currency. It sounds to me as if you are further along than thought.

I personally think you need to give Social Services an ultimatum. If they are not prepared to provide you with meaningful help, then you will be depositing him on their doorstep. This needs to be done in writing and preferably from a legal standpoint - outlining all of the reasons why.

Chin up. You are an amazing person to foster this young man. He's too young and impressionable to value what you are doing for him right now. I would not judge you if you decided to give up though.

Chubfuddler Thu 13-Jun-13 05:29:35

From what very little I know SS are as likely to go "oh ok then" and get their tick box forms out to arrange alternative accommodation rather than actually help which is what op wants.

Roshbegosh Thu 13-Jun-13 05:33:33

Thanks for the support, hand holding etc. Had a little cry.
So hard to be abused day in day out and see just occasional glimpses of the boy we have loved and tried so hard for. Really it is destroying us but the thought of our little man ending up in a home where no one cares and he just goes downhill fast is too painful.

lovesmileandlaugh Thu 13-Jun-13 05:34:01

Morning OP, just wanted to send some support your way!

I'm a FC for younger ones, so my experience is only really based on offering support to a friend who is having problems with her own DS of a similar age.

Is it something that has been building up, or has he been settled for the few years he has been with you and is now getting worse? Do you know what is causing the bad behaviour? She has found that being beaten up (not massively badly) in his first year of secondary school triggered PTSD and autism (accept he was probably always autistic but never had any behavioural issues) with her DS.

If you aren't getting anywhere with SW's, can you approach the school/ GP for appropriate referrals as you would your own child? Get them all on side to help and support him?

I hope things seem easier this morning!

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Thu 13-Jun-13 05:38:10

Can you get a referral to CAMHS from your GP? That sounds like your best best bet OP. I'm so sorry you find yourself in this position.

Roshbegosh Thu 13-Jun-13 05:43:54

I will go to GP re CAMHS referral, thanks.
It has always been a roller coaster but has gone way off lately. A lot going on and family contact throws huge spanner in the works every time. They are perfect don't you know.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Thu 13-Jun-13 05:52:48

It must be breaking your heart, especially as he's been with you for a few years.
I've no direct experience but my parents fostered so I grew up with difference foster children. Some of their behaviours were awful but I don't feel as though the experience did me any harm at all. I hope that goes some way to reassuring you that the other children in your house will be OK.
CAMHS will have a waiting list bit your GP can push an urgent referral through and you should be seen fairly quickly. They will likely assess him and offer some counselling sessions.

burberryqueen Thu 13-Jun-13 06:54:15

She/He obviously has no experience of 12 year olds or fostering
well i have been ambulance chasing with a drunken teen aboard it (mine) and have my own family problems sorry to have upset you
op it was late and am upset about my own family. I just feel sorry for foster kids who are passed on from family to family, there are an extraordinary amount of children removed from their birth families around here, actually it is scary.

Panadbois Thu 13-Jun-13 07:21:43

Morning Op. Sounds like you have given this child 100% and it's SS letting him down.
As a FC who asked to have a 5yr old boy removed i totally sympathise. Moving them on isn't something you do lightly, but for me, I had to put my own kids first, and tbh, my sanity too. A lot of people were wondering how bad can a 5yr old be to be moved on, but unless you have walked in a FC's shoes, no one should judge.

This child is not in care because of you. it's not your fault. I would second the post which recommends you give SS an ultimatum. They need to pull their finger out pronto.

(my experience convinced me that I could only foster babies, and this has worked out better for me and my family)

Look after yourself.

FridgePervert Thu 13-Jun-13 07:43:53

Hi, sorry you're having such an awful time and I have to say I am full of respect and admiration for foster carers, taking on a child who has been emotionally damaged by their experiences and trauma is no easy task and completely underestimated by many.
I'm a residential worker with a lot of experience working with children with similar behaviours and difficulties and love them to bits, but I go home at the end of a shift and recharge my batteries ready the next day to face the new challenges.
You obviously can't do this and you must be exhausted.
You need to kick up a stink to social workers and demand the help you need.
Not really got any advice but just wanted to give a virtual hug!!

happyon Thu 13-Jun-13 07:51:00

Shocked by some of these comments. You have no idea what it can be like to live with a traumatized child so STFU and have some respect for the people who do this job.

Don't know what to suggest OP. In periods of real stress with dd. we've found HV good, but I know we're unusually lucky to have a good one. Have you tried the Adoption UK message boards? They are full of good advice.

Good luck.

I'm a foster carer to teens. Agree you need to demand a team around the child meeting. Escalate it to your social worker's boss, contact the IRO (who does reviews for the child). SS will get you a CAHMS appointment within the week.

I'm sure you've tried other things, forgive me for going over them - have you done the TCI course? It's really, really helpful for teens that need a lot of support.

What 'responsibilities' does the child have? May seem counterintuitive but give him more, along with a lot of encouragement.

If he's been with you a few years then he's likely fairly settled and is trying out normal boundaries and pushing you away to see if you react.

The message you need to give him at this point is that you're not going anywhere (even if you want to throttle him right now) and you need to demand that he be supported. He may do better in a special school or EBD for excluded children - leaving mainstream is not the end of the world for children in care, frankly they get better helps sometimes - small things like a taxi to school and back can help with anti social behaviour and the opportunities to be naughty.

burberryqueen Thu 13-Jun-13 07:54:30

happyon if it is me you are referring to, you willl note that i already apologised to op so there is no need for your sweary little acrostics, thank you so much.

50shadesofvomit Thu 13-Jun-13 08:26:18

Im not a foster parent but a parent of a 12 year old and wanted to say that the boy is very lucky to have such caring Foster Parents like your h and you.i really hope that you get the support that everyone needs. sad

Roshbegosh Thu 13-Jun-13 08:44:31

Thanks everyone, I do feel so much better for all your kind words.
Managed to get him out to school but DH and I both sworn at badly, doors slammed. He is always in a really bad mood. DH is saying he can't go on like this and I'm waking up worrying in the middle of the night and exhausted and weepy. If he stays with us I worry his violence to DH may get worse as he gets bigger. We worry about him descending into drugs, offending, rough sleeping etc which is reality if he ends up in a home. He idolises his shit parents who pop babies out accidentally every five minutes. Oops there's another.
Have already emailed a stink to social services and cc'd to the IRO and bosses. Nothing.

Then you now need to raise a complaint. They have to respond within a certain time frame. You can also call Emergency Duty at night and request a visit and it is logged.

At one point we had a really useless social worker who insinuated if I complained the child we had would be removed. I raised a complaint and she was removed. You don't need to put up with any shit, you're job is to advocate as strongly as possible for the child as you have their best interests at heart.

I have had to make a nuisance of myself on more than one occasion to make SS live up to their legal responsibilities - you may have to do that too smile

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