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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on fostering.

Starting to have doubts

(16 Posts)
Bluedolphin1971 Tue 11-Sep-12 23:40:02


I want to foster have thought of nothing else for quite some time now, however im starting to have doubts.
the reason for this is because I contacted a girl I knew who fostered (she was my friend when I went to school). I asked her for some advice etc, and she said "don't do it" she went on to say that she wouldn't recommend any family where there is a male or a teenage boy n the house to foster!!! She replied back to me via email as she lives quite a distance away so I haven't been able to get any further info from her as to why she is saying this.

I was also telling my neighbour I was considering fostering, and she said she knew someone who was accused of sexual assault on his foster daughter. She said he was found to be innocent, but she said mud sticks and everyone will forever think he was a child abuser!

I can only guess this is the reason why my school friend has said this and to be honest it's got me a bit apprehensive about adoption now. I would hate to think anyone would make these kinds of accusations to anyone in my family.

Do these types of things happen? I was originally looking to foster age 10 and younger. I currently have 2 boys aged 15 and 7.

I feel a sad now and a bit disappointed in myself that I'm feeling like not bothering, does this make sense?

Bluedolphin1971 Tue 11-Sep-12 23:41:29

Sorry we should say a bit apprehensive about fostering now.

calmlychaotic Wed 12-Sep-12 01:01:12

I think if its something you want to do you shouldn't let that put you off. My friend is teacher and was accused by a child, I won't go into details but in the end the child admitted they made it up. This kind of thing could happen in any job where you work with children. I'm a childminder and a child once told parent I hurt them, eventually changed story to I hurt their feelings because I told them off. Anyway my point is no one would say don't become a teacher or a childminder, I guess you are working with children who tend to have more issues so the risk is greater but then so is the reward? I'm not a foster carer though but that's just my opinion, good luck if you do it x

randomfemale Wed 12-Sep-12 01:09:23

Is there anyone you can talk to about your fears ( the agency) or would that be a no no and just scupper your chances if you wanted to go ahead and foster?

Sorry I have no experience of fostering. Hopefully someone will be along soon who isn't clueless!

I admire you for wanting to foster though, I really do.

NinePeedles Wed 12-Sep-12 08:44:25

My advice would be to continue looking into fostering.

Safe caring is an important subject to cover, along with some others which you may not have thought about. Discussions about safe caring will form part of your assessment should you decide to continue.

Any foster family members could potentially face allegations against them, but you can minimise the risk by following good practice.

The flip side is that your sons could prove to be very positive male role models that some foster children may never have had.
There are certainly single male foster carers, and plenty of families with teenage boys in them.

Make your application, and find out more. You may make an informed decision that it is not for you, and that's fine. But if you give up before you've started you will always wonder "what if?"

Good luck!

BusterTheDonk Wed 12-Sep-12 12:04:22

My "rose tinted glasses" have well and truly been taken off these past few months.

I normally give supportive advice to anyone interested in fostering - it can be very rewarding but now feel as both 'sides' need to be given.

Fostering takes over your life. You can't switch off from it and it is emotional, frustrating and downright heartbreaking. Working with Social Services at times can be very difficult. You need to be incredibly tough to do this job - stupidly, I never thought I'd have to fight SW's to do the right thing for the child but find myself doing it over and over again.

Fostering is hard - you need to adapt your life - you need to protect yourself against allegations - you need to weigh up the good and the bad is really what I am saying.

It is also rewarding, great fun, keeps you busy and at times I've wanted to burst with pride at small achievements made by the children...

Knowing what I know now (2 years into it) would I still have applied? err.. yes and no

Please don't let my current black view on things put you off - I just wish I'd considered the down side a bit more carefully and prepared myself a bit more for the battles...

Good luck whichever way you decide x

Gymbob Wed 12-Sep-12 16:26:02

As a foster carer you will have a Safer Caring policy, and you will adjust the way you live to minimise the risk of allegations. But it's all common sense stuff, it really is. Let me give you a few examples..

We lived as a family of 3 where -the toilet door was always wide open regardless of who was sitting on the toilet or what they were doing....we walked from the bathroom to the toilet to the bedroom naked.....the bathroom door was never really shut....we might walk about half dressed.....

These were all things that would have come to an end naturally when our daughter reached a certain age, but fostering meant we did it sooner, and suddenly. I think with a teenage boy you would be careful but you shouldn't worry unnecessarily. The teenager we had was lovely. You won't be accepted for fostering and left to get on with it, you will be given training, and you will be furnished with all the help you need.

Plus, you can turn down placements you know if they are not right for your family, the last thing SS want is to get a new fc on board then frighten them off with an unsuitable placement.

Bluedolphin1971 Wed 12-Sep-12 16:35:26

thank you so much for replying everyone. I just keep hearing horror stories, and so many people are saying foster children have behaviour problems ect!
this makes me a bit more determined because I just feel these people have given up on these children before they have gotten to know them as a person, and with this I include people in my own family. I'm afraid my mum isn't very supportive of me doing this.

I didn't have a brilliant happy childhood myself (nothing really bad, just parents who were alcoholics, my dad still is an alcoholic). I felt I never really had anyone to talk to. I really feel for those kids out there who are just looking for a loving family, and somewhere where they can come home to knowing that they aren't going to be frightened about what's going to happen in the house or to them. Does this make any sense?

I will look into it more, and not give up until I find out more info.
hopefully I can come on here to get some more support and information.

many thanks

Gymbob Wed 12-Sep-12 21:51:33

Just parents who were alcoholics you say, wow, that must be an understatement if ever there was one.

You sound like an excellent candidate for a foster carer, with plenty of life experience to offer. SS will really value that experience.

For what it's worth, I don't have any horror stories to tell you. I've been fostering for about 7 years I think. I've had kids that have been a pain yes, but tbh I have turned down kids that I thought wouldn't suit us.

NanaNina Wed 12-Sep-12 22:25:29

I think it's very emotionally healthy for prospective foster carers to have doubts. I was always more worried about the ones who had no doubts but just convinced themselves that everything would be ok and they could cope with anything that came along.

Fostering is not for the feint hearted and I should say that I am not one, but a retired sw and tm mgr in a fostering & adoption team. The assessments that are carried out should be seen as a two way street, and while the sw is assessing you, it is a good plan to start thinking of whether this really is for you and your family. You should go on doing this right up until after the preparation group, and then decide if you want to go ahead, and then the assessment can begin.

It's like a lot of things in life though, you can be as well prepared as you can be, but there is nothing like the reality and this of course is true of fostering.

Bluedolphin1971 Thu 13-Sep-12 17:10:24

Thank you so much everyone for yor input.

I am going to look further into it, and will take it from there.

Gymbob (my favourite Walton lol, wanted to be in a Walton family when a was younger), I know what yo are saying when I say JUST alcoholics, but that's probably nothing when I think of what other children are/have been going through. Although I have to admit, had that been today, I think we would probably have been taken into care!

I really appreciate everyones help and advice. Once again thank you.


grapelovingweirdo Thu 20-Sep-12 10:18:51

I completely understand where you're coming from, but there are many fostering success stories. My grandmother fostered many children, one of whom she took in at six weeks old and adopted at 12. That little girl had been born addicted to heroin. That little girl was my mum.

Fostering is tough, no amount of preparation in the world can prepare you for it.

I'm thinking of fostering one day to give something back. I find this blog a really useful read:

Hopefully you'll find something in there to help you. It's not a "rose tinted specs" blog either, which is what makes it even better.

grapelovingweirdo Thu 20-Sep-12 10:19:43

Sorry for URL, I can't do the link thing!

Bluedolphin1971 Thu 20-Sep-12 17:46:01


Thank you so much for replying, that's a wonderful story you must be so proud of your grandmother.

I went to the open evening yesterday and the social worker is coming out to see us in a couple of weeks to get more information and meet our children. I suppose she will go into it in more detail and we can ask a lot more questions.
The if we still want to go for it, she will put our name forward for the success to fostering course. She said my husband didn't need to go for it but he wants to and I think it will be good for both of us.

NotmylastRolo Wed 26-Sep-12 10:27:59

I hope that you go for fostering as you sound so caring and aware of the struggles that children in care face. Imho there are no "easy" foster children and those that are too compliant are damaged in their own way and, like a pressure cooker, are saving it all up for puberty or later! All kids taking into care will be angry, damaged, have faced abuse and neglect and have also been rejected by wider birth family (always asked to take them first these days before they are taken into care as a last resort). These kids are angry, frightened, or switched off emotionally so present as either needy or cold and rejecting of carers. Boy oh boy you will need to be strong, as you will be the last person they want to live with until trust is built up (maybe never). Allegations usually arise out of their anger and can happen anytime to anyone as they relate more to how the child is coping or not (rarely and sadly there can be abuse of foster children by foster carers so it all needs investigating). Ask every detailed question you can about any child you are offered, including whether they have been sexually abused, and speak honestly and without the SW present when meeting with previous carers to get an honest appraisal of the child to see if you can manage their behaviours. Make absolutely certain that any child you are offered will be a good match (this is vital if the placement is to succeed). Most of all, look after your own relationships as you cannot foster alone without their support! If you can hold it steady and give these kids the love they so desperately crave (but cannot ask for in the usual way) then welcome to fostering!! I know that you will bravely face the challenges as you sound so caring and your background can only be an asset. You can turn lives around when you foster and there is nothing to match that - so go for it!

grapelovingweirdo Wed 03-Oct-12 12:45:33

Thanks bluedolphin, I am very proud of her...and of my mum. Well done for going to the open evening. I hope you got all of the information you needed smile

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