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i would love to be a foster carer - advice, stories etc

(3 Posts)
KayteeB12 Thu 25-Oct-12 11:34:57

hello everyone (:
my names Kaytee and im a 19 year old single mum to my little Kai whose 14 months old. Ive always wanted to be a foster carer and ive researched loads and know i need to be 21 years of age etc. My mums scepticle as she said it can be very hard caring for children/babies who have had difficult childhoods. Im qualified as an NVQ3 Nursery Nurse and im starting my degree in childcare next year smile A few questions i wanted to ask was
1. Can you chose the age range you want to foster?
2. Do any of you have other children and how did they feel with it?
3. Do you become emotionally involved and find it hard to let go?
4. Is it okay to work when being a foster carer
Id love to foster babies and toddlers as i think it would be amazing to help nurture them and give them the love and support they need but im worried my LO would feel jelous.
Also, does anyone have any fostering experiences they could share with me?

scarlet5tyger Thu 25-Oct-12 12:06:10

Hi KayteeB12, your mum is right that its hard but it's also very rewarding. In answer to your questions:

1) yes you can choose the age range but most carers are now being approved 0-18 to make it easier for children to be placed, but also because you might take a child in your specified age range who then stays much longer than initially envisaged (a toddler soon becomes a 3/4 year old!). You can always turn down a placement if you don't feel right with it though.

2) I don't have any other children but think that your own has to be older than any foster placement by at least 2 years. I'm aware this rule isn't always followed though. It can be very hard on birth children, especially when the children move in. My younger relatives become friends to my foster children and sometimes can't really understand why they suddenly disappear.

3) you become VERY involved emotionally and it's VERY hard to let go (see fostermumtomany's current post "will she adapt okay".

4) It's very very rare to be allowed to work if you're fostering babies or toddlers - the babies I take in usually have an appointment each day, if not contact with parents.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

Gymbob Thu 25-Oct-12 23:10:48

In my LA (local authority), they like to keep seniority for the birth child by keeping any fostered child at least 12 months younger, of course it doesn't always work like that...

My DD likes fostering, she used to be so excited at the prospect of the next little one coming to stay, but now we have a long term placement, she has resorted to typical sibling behaviour like being annoying and being short tempered. The positive is that I'm sure that's how all siblings are once they reach a certain age, so she in a family with a sibling, which is what we wanted. I do regularly ask her if she is happy and would she like anything to change and she always says no. She likes having someone to annoy!

I work, but I job share with hubby, so am very lucky, but can't see any reason why you couldn't work if it had no impact on your foster child. Obviously, you couldn't work with a baby, or maybe pre-school.

And yes, you would become emotionally attached, but that's normal. I don't think we'd be good foster carers if we didn't. It's hard to let go. Fostermummys thread is a great example, and heartbreaking to read....

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