Help....I don't feel anything for my foster child

(9 Posts)
lopsylarta Mon 14-Oct-13 11:06:48

Help needed ....I feel like a terrible person for writing this but We have a 4 yr old boy placed with us he has been here 3 weeks and I feel absolutely nothing towards him ....our previous placement a 6 day old baby stayed with us until she was adopted at 14 mths she was so loved by all the family and slotted in perfectly.....this Little boy is no trouble and very well behaved although he does have some emotional problems and an eating disorder ...but I just don't seem to be warming to him...anybody else ever felt this way ?

hbr1989 Mon 14-Oct-13 11:34:00

This is a really tough one. It sounds like a very different experience to your previous placement. I think it's important to go easy on yourself, the placement is still in its early days and bonding is something that can be worked on. A newborn and a Four year old are completly different. I have always found it easier to bond with younger children. Have you been doing plenty of activities together and things that would promote bonding? How is he with you? Does he seem to be forming an attachment?

lopsylarta Mon 14-Oct-13 11:42:28

He is defiantly feeling more at home and has made bonds with my husband and my youngest son ...... He suffered emotional neglect so has problems understanding his own feelings ....I think the problem is more with me than him ...finding it hard to get over my last placement and I think having him her just reminds me of her....I do feel a little bit duped by my la as they told me he was 3 ....well he was three when he arrived but turned 4 the next week ...!!.... My upper age limit is 4....

hbr1989 Mon 14-Oct-13 11:51:22

I always feel duped by my LA, it's not the same one is it?! I don't think they've ever got the age of a child right! We're you able to take any time off between placements? I'm not really sure what to suggest apart from maybe spending some one to one quality time with him. Do you feel that this could affect the placement or lead to it breaking down? Do you feel able to discuss with supervising social worker?

hbr1989 Mon 14-Oct-13 11:52:59

I always feel duped by my LA, it's not the same one is it?! I don't think they've ever got the age of a child right! We're you able to take any time off between placements? I'm not really sure what to suggest apart from maybe spending some one to one quality time with him. Do you think that this could affect the placement or lead to it breaking down? Do you feel able to discuss with supervising social worker?

lopsylarta Mon 14-Oct-13 12:03:14

I had nearly 2 months break between placements ...I am unable to get funding for him to attend nursery at the moment so we are together allday everyday ....I don't think this is helping ....my ssw is lovely but only works 3 days a week so is often not available....trying to spend quality time with him but I need a break from him....husband is fab but works full time so is not here during the day....if I can't get him in nursery soon I don't see this placement lasting ....that will be a big black cross against my name then...

scarlet5tyger Mon 14-Oct-13 16:57:48

3 weeks is very, very early days! I think you need to be a bit easier on yourself.

Isn't he entitled to a free nursery place at 4? I thought all children from age 3 got 15 hours automatically. I personally think its a bit soon for him to be going to nursery though, I'd want him to be making some form of attachment to me first.

I'm positive that you're finding it difficult to bond because he's only your second placement, so you'll still be in shock from moving on your first. It took me about 4 months to bond properly with my second placement, and I've heard many other FCs say this about 2nd placement too. By the time he left me I was head over heels in love with him though!!

Mum2lots Mon 14-Oct-13 22:02:31

You don't need funding for nursery he can get it free x ring health visitor or any local private nursery.

NanaNina Tue 15-Oct-13 13:04:59

Agree with scarlet - definitely ease up on yourself, and what she says about this being your 2nd placement after such a positive experience with the first child. I am a retired sw - fostering my specialism. When I was assessing carers they would almost always say that they would find it hard to let a child go, and I used to say "you might actually feel relieved" and they would look a bit aghast. Why should you feel affectionate towards this little boy - we can't turn our emotions on and off like a switch.

The tricky thing is that children I think can tell who is more attuned to them and will gravitate towards that person. I also definitely agree with Scarlet that it is not in this child's best interests to go to nursery so soon after being placed. He needs to get used to the big change of family first. Did he come from you straight from home, or another carer.

Think you might have to "ease up" on the age range issue too, as in my experience when the chips are down, carers are asked to take a child out of their age range (sometimes by a number of years!) all that has to be done to keep the "books" in order is to complete a form stating why a child has been placed with a carer out of their approved age range.

I wonder if once you can allow yourself to stop worrying over your lack of affection to this child, and understand that it is perfectly natural to feel like this, then things over time might slowly change. I hope so for both yourself and the child.

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