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Locking doors and cupboards?(4 Posts)
I'm really not sure how else I can tackle this, so if anyone has any experiences and suggestions I'd be grateful
We have a 16 year old FC. When she first came to us she had not much more than what she stood up in - had been homeless/sofa surfing for a while and had vey few belongings.
Over time we've built up her clothes, she has a clothing allowance, and quite often we treat her to extra bits and pieces so she has a pretty good wardrobe of her own.
However, she keeps going in my wardrobe and taking my clothes, taking my make up, etc. Now, in theory I don't mind lending her odd bits and pieces, but I don't like the fact that she goes through my room and takes my clothes, and she's also extremely careless and a lot of the stuff I've had back is pretty much ruined.
We've spoken and spoken and spoken about this but it's still going on. Final straw last week when I found a fairly expensive, and much liked top that I had been hunting high and low for in her room, completely ruined, covered in bright pink nail polish so I bought a padlock and put it on my wardrobe door.
I told FC's SW what I'd done and she was fine, but my SSW isn't keen - he doesn't like locking FC's out of places within the family home.
I do agree, and we've held off for ages but I a) hate her going through my stuff and b) fed up with her ruining my clothes. She's not supposed to be in my room in the first place, so she shouldn't even know there is a lock
What else can I do?
I'm happy to lend her stuff when she asks, but she needs to stay out of my room/wardrobe
I have sympathy, I was told when i went through my assessment that its my responsibility to lock away valuables e.g. laptop, camera etc. So before I went to panel I had a lock put on my bedroom door. Now I have little ones, so haven't needed to use it, but i am approved for teenagers, so who knows what age my next placement will be.
If she is going into your room and has been repeatedly told not to, then i think it is fine to lock your wardrobe. I also think your SSw should be supporting you.
My bedroom is my sanctuary and no foster child should be in there, I know in theory you are supposed to make them part of the household and treat them as your own children, but they aren't and haven't had the same experiences. I mean imagine if they come out to their social worker 'when i was in xx's bedroom etc'
There are house rules and safer caring guidelines for a reason, so if she is not responding to the boundaries then i think the padlock is fine. what does you ssw suggest you do about this issue then?
Sorry, no good ideas, but I totally understand where you're coming from and think it is acceptable.
SSW seems to think I should just let it continue and be more understanding. I do understand, I just don't want her going through my room and taking my stuff without asking.
I've even found my bras in her washing so she's going through all my private drawers as well as my wardrobe. It needs to stop
We have spoken numerous times about staying out of my room, it's in our safe care plan and house rules that my room is out of bounds, if she's ignoring that, I don't know how else we're supposed to enforce it.
We've always been told to lock money, car keys and valuables away (we use a small safe hidden away at the back of my wardrobe) and that it's entirely our own fault if we leave stuff laying around which is then stolen
And at the end of the day, she's not allowed in my room. She knows this, and if she followed that rule, she wouldn't even know there was a lock anyway
Hi Freddie - You have every right to request that your foster teen treats you and your home with respect and follows the safe care plan (the clue is in the title - it keeps you, your family and her safe) and not enter your bedroom. How otherwise will a foster teen, who has probably had no boundaries before coming to your family, learn to respect themselves and their personal space if they are not taught to respect others and their personal spaces? That surely is the idea of the safe care plan, to instill a sense of where the boundaries lie. Your foster teen should feel safe in her room as should you in your bedroom/personal space/sanctuary. Neither should root around in eachother's room poking around in drawers etc.
The problem as I see it comes when you get no backing from social workers who believe (rightly or wrongly) that the child is not to be sanctioned or pulled up on wrongdoing but only ever praised when they do something right. We had a lot of this when we fostered teens and it is so frustrating as it makes it almost impossible to teach the foster teens right from wrong i.e. that going unasked into someone's bedroom and taking things that do not belong to you and worse of all ruining them without so much as an acknowledgement or "sorry" is wrong (actually it is theft and a blatant disregard for your feelings showing that your foster teen has yet to learn empathy or respect).
I would ask your SSW to re-visit the safe care plan with your foster teen as it is a tool that social services insist upon in every fostering home and is regarded as good practice. As it is their tool it is up to them to take the lead in reinforcing it with your foster teen and then you can build on this reinforcement to remind the foster teen of the "rules".
Get back to social services and ask them to take a stronger line to protect your foster teen as she seems to have some very lax boundaries.
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