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I think we've reached the end of our road

(175 Posts)
EarthMotherImNot Tue 22-Feb-11 17:18:22

Title says it all reallysad

Since our last lo left a few weeks ago Dh and I have endlessly discussed whether to carry on as Fc's.

Her leaving affected us both badly, probably due to her difficult start in life and how intensely we worked with her for so long.

I have a supervision meeting due in a week or so and I'll probably tell my sw then.
We very much want to see our current lo on to his adoption next month but I'm worried they'll move him instead so I'm considering just keeping quiet until he leavesblush

It hasn't been an easy decision and I've dithered about it some days but we aren't getting any younger and the paperwork and training seems neverending and often not even geared to our age group.

I get tired of hearing sw's speak of manditory training when we are, in effect unpaid childcare.

I think the last straw was being "told" I "must" attend a course on "managing difficult behaviour" we foster newborns for gods sake!

EarthMotherImNot Thu 14-Apr-11 06:56:19

Thank you everyonesmile

NanaNina - thats what I truly thought would happen, that she would want to see us face to face. We are a couple of months short of 24 years with the same LA and have cared for 80 odd children, surely there would be more than "oh ok" at this?

I honestly couldn't even think of going with an IFA or LA so I think we're done. I do have many happy memories and have made lots of new friends including the lovely people on this boardsmile

NanaNina Thu 14-Apr-11 12:26:43

If I were you I would send a short letter to the Director of Social Services, with the details of how long you have fostered, numbers of children, and your resignation was met with an e mail only, and you feel disappointed (you are probably totally p.......ed off but "disappointed" is better in such a letter.

At least it will be drawn to the attention of the sws involved and may make them realise that this is no way to thank a carer for so many years of hard work. It is really disgraceful. In the authority where I worked for 25 years, such a resignation would have meant at the very least a visit from the link worker with a bunch of flowers, followed up with a letter from the Director, again thanking the carer for all the years of fostering etc etc.

fishtankneedscleaning Thu 14-Apr-11 14:06:29

EMIN. I am very sad at the way you have been treated. Even Tesco employees are given recognition, and thanked, for their services. I guess all the nightmares, soul searching and heartache a foster carer goes through is nothing compared to stacking shelves in a supermarket!

Just by reading your posts it is clear you were an excellent foster carer and I am sure the memories of the children you have cared for will more than compensate for the lack of (a bunch of supermarket) flowers from LA.

Wishing you well in your "retirement" but hope you will be back on this board to support all the other foster carers in their hour of need.


EarthMotherImNot Thu 14-Apr-11 15:40:27

NanaNina: that sounds like an excellent idea, I think I will do that, thank you.

sumum Thu 14-Apr-11 17:14:12

Oh emin I am so sad for you.
They are always after new carers but when they treat their old carers so badly it's a wonder there are any of us left.

I hope you get the recognition you so rightly deserve.

and please keep posting on here, we don't want to lose you too.

SquidgyBrain Fri 15-Apr-11 23:24:50

How utterly disgusting! I can't believe how badly you were treated No wonder you have resigned

Your posts were the reason I took the plunge and applied to foster, the honesty of how hard it is to have a child leave made me realise that it is ok to have a broken heart after they leave. I have still yet to experience this, but I know that as hard as it will be I will get through it. Finding such a honest account of fostering was really invaluable - and for that I thank you.

Take care and enjoy your retirement wine

EarthMotherImNot Mon 09-May-11 14:55:00

Brief update:
I wrote to the head of childrens services shortly after NanaNina suggested the idea to me. A few weeks down the line I'd heard nothingangry

This morning I had a call from my previous link worker asking if the head of fostering could come and see us, I agreed to see him this Friday but I don't know if I'm more angry still or sad that it came to this.

I'll update when he's been.

Thanks NanaNinasmile

NanaNina Mon 09-May-11 16:01:00

Hi Earthmother - it is so sad that it had to come to this. At least it got passed down the line and it might just change the way in which other foster carers are treated. He or she is probably coming to grovel. You could of course tell them that you are going to the local press with your story (even if you're not) and this will give them more to worry about!

Don't be too accommodating to him/her with the lame excuses about being short staffed or whatever. They don't deserve it.

The main thing is that at least you know the difference you have made to so many children's lives and the period of stability you gave them at a very rocky time in their young lives.

EarthMotherImNot Mon 09-May-11 16:49:36

Thank you NanaNina. My ex social worker at first suggested I come to the office for the chat, I politely declined saying they knew where I was if they needed to see meangry

I gave her a few of the details from the letter and I must say she seemed horrified and very apologetic, we'll see what Friday brings ehsmile

NanaNina Mon 16-May-11 13:53:35

How did the meeting with the socila workers go earthmother?

NanaNina Mon 16-May-11 13:53:54

I meant social workers of course!!

EarthMotherImNot Tue 17-May-11 15:56:20

Hi NanaNina, it went quite well I think. The man who came was the Fostering Manager, we'd never met him before but he seems very nice.

He was appalled at how we'd been treated/left to the tender mercies of a trainee and he has said he will investigate the issues.

Today we received a letter by registered post from him thanking us for letting him visit and being willing to speak to him about our issues.

At the end of the letter he says if we wish to reconsider to contact him direct.

He seemed pretty genuine and I'm sure he'd be happy to have us back but I'm all to aware of how difficult it would be, especially within a smallish fostering unit.

Thanks for askingsmile

sumum Mon 23-May-11 09:58:43

Hi Emin, have just seen your update. I am glad you got to have your say and you now have something to think about.

How have you been getting on without any lo's in the house, do you miss it, do you think you might take another placement?

I think things in social care are going to get worse and worse with all the cuts, foster carers are at the bottom of the pile anyway, our la have told us services to us are going to be cut, less visits, expecting carers to do more. they even said if you can't transport you are unlikely to get placements. I was wondering why I have had a vacancy since before christmas dispite being one of the most experienced carers they have.sad

I hope you are taking some time to do things you enjoy for yourself.
Keep in touch you are an insperation.

EarthMotherImNot Tue 24-May-11 14:44:55

Thanks sumum. After more lengthy discussions with Dh we have decided that we have reached the end of our road.

It hasn't been an easy decision but fostering really isn't what it was about when we began back in 1987, then the childrens needs were paramount and we were treated with respect. I knew every single worker in our fostering unit and they knew me. I don't know many of them now.

Coupled with the paperwork and indeed the attitude that they are doing us a favour which comes across more and more, I think our original decision was the right one.

I have found, especially over the last few years, that we aren't being listened to anymore. When I have voiced concerns about a particular plan for a child I've been told the decisions are for the "professionals" to make.

I have had a lot of joy, and sadness from fostering and, yes I do miss it but I know we are doing the right thing for us.

Thank you sumum and everyone for your support and kindnesses over the yearssmile

OscarLove Fri 01-Jul-11 00:49:52

Hello Emin, Just to say I read the whole thread about your little foster girl who was born addicted to drugs and it was so, so sad but amazing how the little one came such a very long way. I'm upset to read how you've been treated by the LA, especially after such a long time bringing these babies up, but remember in your heart, that without you, these babies would have nothing to live for. You were the first one to see them smile and the reason they were smiling was because of you. You are truly amazing. Did the baby girl go back to her birth mother? If so, I hope she was off the drugs and determined to show that baby what a good life can look like. I hope to foster in the future, maybe in a few years or so, and you are a real inspiration to all potential foster mums out there. Good luck for the future.

EarthMotherImNot Fri 01-Jul-11 09:18:03

Hello Oscar, thank you smile

The lo was placed with an adoptive family earlier this year, they adore her, obviously, and she is doing really well smile I miss her dreadfully sad

The fostering team have asked us to take some time and reconsider, we have our yearly review in just over a week when I will have to give them our final answer. Still unsure confused

p99gmb Fri 01-Jul-11 09:22:14

If you are unsure - then why not try again and then decide after they move on... <<hopeful emotion..


EarthMotherImNot Fri 01-Jul-11 09:38:39

I miss me on here toosad The days are incredibly long and very boring without being neededsad

SquidgyBrain Fri 01-Jul-11 19:22:07

If you are feeling unsure, I like p99 think you should try again......... grin

maypole1 Fri 01-Jul-11 20:40:00

Think about what the children who you supported would say ad what they would have done with out you some sw are shitty but were not here for them were here for the children.

NanaNina Wed 06-Jul-11 00:17:40

Hi earthmother - I remember your predicament from earlier in the year. So it's decision time. You sound like you don't like not being needed, so maybe now is not the time to throw the towel in. I would make it very clear at your review how badly you were treated.

Have you thought about changing your age range or respite. Some LAs have respite schemes for children coming straight from birth families to give the parents(and the child) some respite, or there is the usual respite for other foster carers.

You don't have to make up your mind right now. You could ask for your registration to be on hold for the time being. I don't see why this isn't possible, but I expect that will just prolong the agony.

Good luck whichever way you decide to go...........NNx

mumsiepie Fri 08-Jul-11 21:48:02

Good Luck and hope you make the right decision for you and your family xx

p99gmb Fri 22-Jul-11 19:04:15

Were you able to make a decision EMIN? x x x

TheOriginalFAB Fri 22-Jul-11 19:14:34

I would love to hear how things are EMIN.

EarthMotherImNot Mon 25-Jul-11 08:01:11

Hi everyonesmile

We had our review last week and surprise surprise the only one who turned up was the reviewing officer. I had been told a duty worker would be there to support (huh) me but she had mixed up her appointments.

So there we are in our review with no sw reports because the review had been "hastily orginised" said the review officer, err no, it was arranged last year at our last review!

Anyway to cut a long story short they want us back just as soon as we can arrange medicalssmile

I had asked to see our file so this week the team manager arrived with 3 huge files she carried in on a trolley as they were so heavy. I'm currently wading through them.

I think, medicals permitting, we will returnsmile

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