Me and my husband are in the process of fostering application. We have our medical checks this week, had our DBS, references and initial assessment and have our first skills to foster weekend this friday and sat.
We have two children DD 4.5 and DS 2.5
We will be going for a 0-7 age range and can take two siblings. Hubby is ex police, was in it for over 20 years, i used to work in a SEN school and a SEN respite centre but now work part time in a pre-school with two SEN children.
We have gone into this with our eyes open, hubby has had to remove countless children in his career with social services, knocking down doors etc and hated that he never knew what happened afterwards in most cases and is really looking forward to being at the other end of the fostering path. I was mentally and emotionally abused by my mum during my childhood, but have not been in contact for 5 years.
Anywho, thats a bit about us. Now that things are becoming more real im starting to dwell on all the negatives. Will it affect my children negatively?Is it right for our family, Is it the right time? All the usual things. I've spoken to lots of foster carers online and face to face as well as reading alot of forums, I did find it noteworthy that many of the foster carers that have positive threads and posts are those who started when their children were young or are fostering now while having young BC.
Its just a big life change i think and its starting to feel real.
Have been fostering for over 38 years and still going strong, Best advice is too follow your hearts, be none judgmental children are in care for many reasons, focus on better outcome's for each child and family's, often forgotten and not mentioned are the areas where family's are united , which will always be the better option if at all possible.
It is true that you have to be careful about the effect on your children. You can find that you are running around for contact and the foster children need all sorts of attention because they might have special needs or challenging behaviour. I have a friend who was frequently attacked by a seven year old and her son was terribly distressed by it all so she had to stop. I don't mean to be negative, just saying the effect on your children is something you have to keep a focus on even if you really don't want to give up on a child in your care. It is also a hugely rewarding thing to do and you may find you are like the earlier poster and do it for 38years. Good luck. P.S. I suggest you are a bit careful about details that could identify you on here, it is public and identifying you is identifying a child you foster.
Good luck with it all. Sounds like normal worries. If you didn't think of all the pluses and negatives you would be caught out by potential problems further down the line. Personally I waited til my birth children left home. It has a huge impact on family.
DH and I had a huge wobble after Skills to Foster about the effect on our own kids (ours were 10 and 6 when we went to panel) and took some time out of the assessment to really consider whether we really wanted to go ahead. I think it's quite normal to be honest.
Our Form F assessor arranged for a couple of local foster carers and their kids to come over and have a bit of a chat and it really helped ease some of our concerns. Can you do anything like that? Talking to parents who were on the job so to speak, was really helpful.
We do keep a very close eye out, it's not just stuff like attention and feeling left out, but whether the things our FC talk about to our children is appropriate (I wasn't best pleased when my FC told my eldest how to roll a joint), how they cope with the police knocking on the door, seeing the FC refuse to go to school, etc, etc.
It may sound heartless, but my own kids have to come first and if it does get too much, we will stop