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Please help me be tougher for everyones sake

(10 Posts)
dolphin13 Wed 08-Sep-10 14:26:47

Just had a phone call from a SW asking me to take a difficult 12 year old boy.
I have told them many times that I don't feel as a family we are suitable for older boys.
My ds is 10 but he has completely differant interests to most boys his age (he hates football for a start). He wouldn't dream of wanting to go out and hang on the streets which TBH is all most of these boys have been used to. DS is very popular at school but only has a couple of close friends (mainly girls) who all share his interest in nature, animals and fossils. In the past when we have taken boys of his age the foster child has been bored and I have felt under pressure to cope with a child I have no understanding of.

Please don't get me wrong, I realise all children in care come with problems and I specialise in teenage girls with huge issues such as self harming, drugs and extreme sexual behaviour. I have great successes with these girls because I understand them and can manage their needs.
We also take other younger children (between 4 and 10).
My problem is I'm rubbish at saying no because I feel so sorry for the child. This would be a long term placement and I know it would probably break down. So it wouldn't be fair on either the child or my ds to take him, but there is no where for him to go and the SW are trying to pressurise me to saying I'll take him. I said I need to speak to dh and will let them know tomorrow.

Just reading this I feel stupid. I can advocate so well for the children and am known for my ability to fight their corner (usually in a hospital or police station when some jobsworth with no understanding is threatening to section one of my girls) sad. So why do I feel so bloomin guilty about saying no.

TanteRose Wed 08-Sep-10 14:31:27

First of all, I am in awe of you! You obviously make such a difference to these!

But you do indeed have to think about the children you have in your care now, and how this boy would affect them.

Don't feel guilty, say no to the SW - you are doing such a wonderful job as it is! smile

saintlydamemrsturnip Wed 08-Sep-10 14:32:55

SS should not be pressurising you. You know what is right for your family. Stick to your guns!

SquidgyBrain Wed 08-Sep-10 16:57:35

dolphin, our social worker told us that there is no point in helping another child if it is the determent of our own kids - as they only have one childhood too. It sounds like this child isn't the right child for you to place.

You sound like a wonderful carer, but 12 year old boys don't seem to be your thing, so if you flip it on it's head would you be doing this boy a disservice by taking him on, as he isn't your usual remit (not that I think for one second that you wouldn't try your best ect and that isn't what I am trying to say)

We all have to remember that we are not the only placements, there is some else out that that may be better suited to him, leaving you free to take care of someone else that you are better suited to too

NanaNina Wed 08-Sep-10 17:50:39

I can only endorse what everyone else is saying - we always had a saying in the office "if you need to be fostered, don't be a boy aged 11 or 12" - sounds bad I know, but he is probably just too young to ge part of a teenage scheme and they are desparate and know you have a soft heart! This boy is NOT your problem - stick to your guns.

dolphin13 Wed 08-Sep-10 19:27:49

Thank you folks I am soft and they know it. I am going to say no it wouldn't be fair on anyone.

It breaks my heart. On several occassions I have gone into our local family centre and seen a teenager sitting in a corner with all their things in a bin bag. They can sit there for hours while SWs try to find a placement. A couple of times I've taken them home so at least they can sit in comfort and watch TV until somewhere is found.
Just does my head in that the government doesn't make fostering a more viable option for people. I know the SWs would prefer to have the options to place children in the right homes, but what can they do when there are no places. sad

LesbianMummy1 Wed 08-Sep-10 20:15:55

Dolphin stand up for yourself you work so hard with all your dc's and you can tell you really care for them all. If the sw gets shirty again just remind them that you are thinking of the welfare of the child which is paramount and that if a child who needed your specialist field of fostering came up then that could potentially go against that child's welfare too. If they still pressurise you say that you would need additional support such as an after school football club, karate club etc that should put them off.

Hope all works out ok

saintlydamemrsturnip Wed 08-Sep-10 21:19:30

God Dolphin that's awful (bin bag of clothes).

mumbar Thu 09-Sep-10 00:00:19

its true it happens. My cousins fc with mild sn was placed with her as emergency respite care as no FC could be found at 11pm when he was found alone in the street. He didn't even go with clothes pjs etc. She then applied to be FC and he's been with her 4 1/2 years now. smile

Dolphin your a great mum to all your brood you know that - and also know that now is not the time for more Fdc's when you've got the other stuff going on.

shaz298 Thu 09-Sep-10 12:36:59


I am not yet a FC but am hoping ton be in the near future. I do have lots of experience of working with children and young people who have been accommodated either in residential care or foster care.

I believe the first thing a new FC should be taught is how to say no. It's really difficult when SW is using the emotional blackmail of no where else for this child etc etc, to stick to your guns.

You seem like a really fab FC and I would reiterate what other posters have said. Just be clear to SW that it would not be in the best interests of this child for them to live with you and therefore you have to say no.

Good luck

Sharon x

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