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vulnerable babies(7 Posts)
hi. Im a single parent, and thinking of going into fostering.
I have been thinking long and hard, about whether i would be able to cope with the challenge of a vulnerable baby - and all the problems that it will entail.
Do you think i would be able to cope, without a partner to help with sleep deprivation, and poss issuing meds, etc?
Im aware that it is going to be extremely hard, and very very challenging.
My own children are 17 15 and 12
Hi lorrmill, I've read both your posts re drug dependent babies and I can only give you my experiences.
I can't say how you would cope only how we have.
If you search/read my thread entitled Drug dependent baby, advice needed it will give you a taste of whats involved.
For the majority of our fostering life Dh has done contract work which entailed him working away from home and only getting home for a weekend every few weeks so it's been pretty much "my thing" if you see what I mean.
When we took on our current drug withdrawing baby Dh was between contracts so he was at home to help me.
There wasn't a single day for the first 6 weeks or so I didn't thank my lucky stars he was with me because I honestly don't think I could have coped alone.
I know there are many single carers, to all intents and purposes I am one most of the time, but a baby on morphine is a whole different ball game.
You cannot imagine the constant screaming which there is nothing you can do to soothe, the almost non-existent sleep, imagine giving meds to a tiny baby when you can barely see and you get an idea of how much more difficult drug babies are to care for.
Having said all of that I can look at our lo now and feel an enormous sense of pride and achievement that we got her through it.
Good luck and please feel free to ask any more questions you may have.
thanks for the response.
I totally understand where you are coming from - and i think - the mothering side of me would like to think i could take on a vulnerable baby and cope with all the stresses and anxieties that it will bring, and i will watch he/she turn into a beautiful child, and be so proud that i have been a part if its life...........but then the realistic side of me creeps in, and i do wonder how i would cope with all the sleepless nights, when i already have 3 bio children to cope with, also.
Although i do have to thank my ex husband - who has given me a small insight into the world of sleepless nights, as he thought himself too 'special' to give up any of his sleep and would only let me have one hours 'catch' up sleep during the day...........
have you fostered any babies without the drug addiction?
Hi lorrmill38, I have fostered babies (and older kids too) for many years.
I have fostered whilst being single parent and now with my dh. I coped fine with babies whilst single and with my two birth kids.
However it was hard work and I only started having drug affected babies when I was with dh, although I did have very poorly prems whilst on my own.
I did have good family support though and someone to help in an emergancy (taking lo to hospital for eg -what would you do with the other kids)
in my area they are more likly to give known difficult babies to experienced carers but any newborn can be hard work.
There is also a lot of support in my area so you need to look at how they are going to help you.
Good luck if you go for it, fostering is a whole life style choice. I love it.
Hi lorrmill, yes many of them. To date 84 lo's, not all of them babies though. We used to take sibling groups of up to 4 children (with 3 of our own at home too)
For the last 5 or 6 years I have "specialized"
in newborn babies many of them with drug issues. This current lo is the first baby placed with us actually on morphine when she came to us. Many babies are termed "borderline" meaning they have withdrawal symptoms but are coping with these without the need for medication.
Caring for this lo has made me question whether babies needing medication should actually be discharged from hospital. The responsibility of administering such a powerful drug to such a tiny baby is terrifying and I'm not sure I would be so quick to take on another baby like this.
I totally agree with sumum by the way, fostering is most definately a whole life style choice.
You seem hugely experienced with the vulnerable babies - so i will take on board the advice you have given.
I have certainly been thinking about it - and , although i will still include that particular age in my application form - i think it may be best to just go down that road, maybe doing babies as respite rather than full on fostering and that way i can build up the experience, in short bursts, and see how i cope.
Im putting my prefered ages down, between 0-8 - as my youngest son feels he wouldnt be very comfortable with any child near to his own age.
I have respected his decision, and we shall see if he changes his mind along the way.
thankyou for taking the time to reply.
Thank you lorrmill, just to add that there are few babies who require respite, at least thats been my experience.
In many ways babies can be easier than older children, they don't get cheeky for one thing and if you can cope with the lack of sleep they are certainly the most rewarding age group to care for.
Good luck and don't hesitate to ask any questions, I'm always happy to help
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