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want to give up

(10 Posts)
stressstressystress Sun 17-May-15 22:20:04

feeling so stressed at the moment, really feel like giving up fostering.

I have two long term children in placement, the elder one (14) is really pushing the boundaries at school, truanting/rude/not working/arguments with friends/bullying, she is rude and obnoxious at home, and very unhappy.

The younger one (9) has severe behavioural challenges, severe adhd and odd, doesn't sleep or eat and constantly argues and pushes against everything.

we are very experienced carers 25+ years and have had this pair for over 7 years

we also have a birth child with asd who is feeling very pushed out at the moment

we have very little to no support, just pressure from the department and i feel like it is all falling apart

Phinolema Mon 18-May-15 19:45:49

Long term carer here. I understand. We are retiring at the end of this year as we have run out of fostering steam and are just waiting til our last young person moves to independence. What does your supervising social worker say?

stressstressystress Mon 18-May-15 20:27:05

he makes sympathetic mmmmmm noises when he bothers to show up.

can't stand the though of another 9 years of this, we have asked for respite for half term, a first for us as we have never put them into respite.

i am hoping we come back refreshed and ready to tackle the 24/7 problems

it is such a thankless task, no thanks from the dept and the children don't give anything back either

Phinolema Tue 19-May-15 08:48:16

Yes, I absolutely get it. Have you had respite agreed? I do hope so. It sounds like you need this time to have a proper think about where you want to go with this. There can be an awful lot of emotional blackmail/pressure involved in fostering and we've had children here who have not been a good fit for our family in the past who have been placed elsewhere and fitted in well. Please don't feel guilty for feeling like is - if it's time to call an end to this placement then do say.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 19-May-15 09:02:10

In my experience you have to be very firm with the department to get them to provide respite. When one of ours hit teenagehood we asked for a placement support meeting as there were battles every day.

At the meeting the gate keeper to the money kept saying how happy and settled the child was and dh and I kept saying yes, we're excellent carers but now we're too tired and need respite as we're having problems every day. Our supervising social worker was excellent too.

At one point after the manager had said how happy and how well the child was doing I said yes, I definitely think the best thing is for them to remain in placement with us, don't you? They then responded oh yes, of course, undoubtedly.

So I then said respite every month or you will have to consider something that isn't in the interests of the child, moving placement.

The manager tried every emotional blackmail trick including getting a bit shirty and insinuating we weren't trying hard enough or were 'cold'. I just raised an eyebrow and repeated what she had said earlier with the list of how fabulously the child was doing.

I needed to not give a shit about what she thought and to be prepared that they would try and bully us. Which they did, because there is very little money.

The bottom line is they weren't going to move 2 children who were completely settled and doing so well. If they had you just start a complaint and its looked at properly - it is never in the child's interests to move when happy and settled.

We got respite every month, separate respite so we could concentrate on the other child.

stressstressystress Fri 22-May-15 19:30:03

thanks, that is very helpful.

the dept has been looking for respite but there is literally none who will take them, they have tried all the la carers and then gone to external agency carers and everyone is turning them down.

I really don't know where they are going to put them next week when we go away

CamelHump Fri 22-May-15 19:40:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

charlottejay Wed 27-May-15 19:49:41

I think you will find that the lack of support is usually from Local Authority SW's. They are under resourced and overworked ie LA SW can carry upto 40 Foster Families on their books and compare that with IFA's (private) who offer so much more support and training and only have 12 families each on their case load.
I've been told with all the government cutbacks in a few years LA's will outsource all their Fostering.

CJ x

Sparkles1966 Fri 29-May-15 21:30:44

Everything will be outsourced if there are more cuts except statutory responsibilities within children's services, and even they can be outsourced under current legislation, with more to be added in the Queen's speech apparently. This government hates the public sector and has cut savagely so caseloads are too high for SW to be able to do their job as they would wish. All large organisations are a bit unwieldy and bureaucratic but LAs do a great job with the resources they have generally, it is just a shame that their most valuable resource is being run into the ground.

All the LAs have written to this government saying they can't absorb any more cuts. I was a good supervising social worker in an LA, I worked very long hours and at weekends to make sure what carers and children needed was achieved for them. I left when I couldn't do that job and achieve those outcomes. I am about to go to an IFA after doing something else for a while, this is not my natural habitat, but my motivation is working with young people and supporting carers to parent them. Fostering is highly regulated and labour intensive, I would just be process driven in an LA because high caseloads mean you can't do anything else.

charlottejay Fri 29-May-15 22:04:03

I wish you the very best of luck in your new role in the private sector, I'm sure you will continue provide an excellent service to lots of young children.

CJ x

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