Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on fostering.
I want to foster, DH (probabyly) doesn't and I'm not sure about DS.(18 Posts)
I'm new to this board, please be gentle!
I work with vulnerable children- those with EBD and ASC with behavioural difficulties. I have taught many children with chaotic backgrounds and MH difficulties and loved it. We have plenty of spare room and DS (an only) is ludicrously sociable.
My DH is a teacher too but in a Public senior school. We have one child by choice and he is in the Prep (4 yrs old) attached to DH's school. DH (I think) loves pouring his heart into DS's upbringing, I'm not sure he'd be able to roll with the punches of a child, maybe with baggage, who wasn't his own.
I really want to foster but I have these concerns;
I work PT and want to continue this.
DS is at a Prep but I would place a foster child at the state primary in which I work. Is that fair?
DS may well follow his father to a Public boarding school. We would not be able to afford this for a long term foster child- would this be unfair? Would we create a 'Blood Brothers' scenario??
If a foster child had to move on for adoption would DS be destroyed?
Would the inevitable issues with attachment be OK with my (lovely) family who have never dealt with this first hand.
Any thoughts welcome!
Oh, and if we were to move county (which is likely in the next 10 years) would we be able to take a long term foster placement with us?
I think you'd need someone to be at home all the time. Are you hoping to foster older or younger children? A school age child would probably need to continue to go to their current school.
Some LAs have age restrictions on the children you can foster (eg they must be at least 2 years younger than your own child) although mine doesn't.
COnsider short term fostering - anything from a couple of days to a couple of years, SOme then go on to be adopted out, some go on to long term care, some go back to family.
If you work part time, it would depend on what hours and flexibility you have - there are a lot of meetings to attend and paperwork to complete.
The state vs private school system would not be an issue with short term FC - youngsters generally keep going to their own school or to a local school with places. And if you work part time, you are going to be looking at an older child.
FC cannot go to boarding school.
Kids do get very attached to some of the fosterlings...and others are really difficult children who can cause a lot of resentment at home to little princes...If there is one that steals your heart, and is up for a long placement or adoption, they may ask you if you want to take them on permanently, and you can make that decision as a family.
Attachment issues vary from child to child - you may have children who are antisocial, or you may have a child who is desperately clingy. There are also children who are actually secure, but parents are ill or going for an operation - this happens more often than you might think.
If DH isn't on board then you cannot proceed. It wouldn't be fair on him and more importantly wouldn't be fair on any FC.
There's no "maybe" about a FC having baggage. The easiest placement I ever had came with a lifetimes worth of baggage!
Can't answer how your family would deal with attachment - but would your DS be okay with a child wrecking their toys and not being sorry? With a child taking up every minute of your day some days, and creating merry hell if they didn't get it? With a child spitting their tea across the table at them or smearing it over the chairs because your DS was asking you to do something for them at that minute? These are some of the (minor) attachment issues I've dealt with just today.
These links may be useful reading.
How might fostering impact my family?
What Scarlet said really.
Unless all your family are 100% on board it won't work.
Your DS may well see or hear things from the foster child's experiences that will distress or traumatise them. It doesn't sound like your DH would be happy with this, but better he is honest now as if there was a child placed with you it would be too late. The foster child may be withdrawn, quiet, violent, aggressive you need to present with love, kindness and consistency to whoever you get.
All I would really add to the above is for you to think about how you would deal with a child with sexualised behaviour around your son, (this might not be known or not disclosed before long term placement), we have 3 children aged 5-7 and only foster short term 0-2years with that being one reason. But if you choose to foster short term working will be very difficult as you will have contact, usually mornings for little ones, this can be up to 5 days a week, then health visitor assessments, adoption Medicals, home visits from your sw, your child's sw, your child's guardian etc.
That being said we foster and are really enjoying it especially the children, you really need to discuss more with DH and maybe speak to your local social services
May be you and Hubby explore all options, as well as short break , rest bite carer's for the disabled etc.. Use your experience in this area which you could expand with experience and become private eventually, employ staff, contract out too other LA's and private disability boarding schools, and Fostering Agency's.
All of your family need to be 100 % on board otherwise you setting yourself up for failure. We have spoken to family friends who have said that they don't know how we do it , mostly men so I don't think that your husband is alone in thinking it would be hard.
If you are thinking of moving you should be aware that the child will probably still have contact so you would need to take this into consideration.
We decided to wait until our children were older to foster so that it would not impact on our time with them.
Whilst we waited I did work with voluntary groups helping families with various difficulties. You may find this rewarding.
There is also a scheme where by you can become a significant person in a foster child's life. You can be a permanent friend for them.
This is very important for a child who may have had placement breakdowns.
Good luck in whatever you decide.
I don't think you get to decide where the foster child goes to school!
In any case, your husband doesn't want to do it so that's it. It's hard enough for the foster child coming from one family where there's problems, they don't need to be fostered by someone who doesn't want them there.
Areas where that LA's would be interesting in recruiting experienced people with expertize in your area of child care are Therapeutic Foster parents., MTPC-P ( Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care-Prevention) of which trials have started with 6 LA's for 3 too 6 year olds.
What about short term respite care? Eg one weekend a month. But if DH isn't 100% behind this either, then it wouldn't be fair on anyone to proceed
MTPC-P also known as T.0.P.S. (Treatment Offering Placement Stability) usual a 12 month placement only.
Think you've had some negative replies here CR but I can understand why. I think your post demonstrates that fostering is not for you and your "lovely" family and it isn't a case of whether attachment issues would be ok with your lovely family but whether a foster child would be given the time, patience, love, care, understanding, etc etc to fit in with your family.
And if the foster child had to move to adoption - how would that affect the child - you ask if DS would be devastated!
Sorry please forget the whole idea of fostering. And there is no decision to make as DH doesn't want to - end of matter.
Tbh I don't think you know enough about fostering atm.
Some of the things you are saying sound more like adopting rather than fostering. Why have you asked about fostering specifically rather than adopting/both?
I've only known fostering where the foster DCs were younger than the existing DCs. But you seem to be imagining a school aged DC? You also don't get to pick their school. Usually they will stay at their existing school.
Most foster care is actually short term. Is this something you/dh would consider?
Maybe volunteering/home start or similar would suit you more than fostering?
I think you need to talk to your DH, as currently you're going on what he might think.
If he doesn't want to foster, you can't. You could look at being an Independent visitor (I think that's the scheme Cassimin is referring to).
If he'd like to, or like to find out more - contact your local authority. Your work experiences may well be more relevant, but that doesn't mean he couldn't be an excellent foster carer.
From your specific questions:
Some foster carers work part time. Usually (in my experience) when they foster older children. You do have numerous meetings to attend - sometimes these can be at a time to suit you, but some can only happen on specific days. You would be expected to do school drop offs and pick ups, and be available to look after an ill foster child. You may find supply teaching works better in the gaps between placements. (As already said, a child will usually remain at their current school, which can be some distance from you.)
DS going to boarding school, foster child not - biggest issue I can see there would be the changing family dynamic in term / holidays, and how you cope with that. Treating (foster) siblings fairly does not have to mean treating them the same.
A foster child will usually move on, whether for adoption, to go home, to relatives or to a new placement. DS may well be upset and unsettled (he may also be relieved), but he will be upset and unsettled for various reasons during the placement. He will also gain a lot from it - no-one knows how it will go, and it is a vital part of your role to help him to cope.
Most people find that looked after children are "not what I expected". They will have more issues than your average child, will need a bit more understanding and support, but it will be you and your DH dealing with most of that. Our families have welcomed our foslings as part of the family, and on the whole give us the space to deal with things as we need to (shouting, aggression, running away).
As you see from my post Recruitment is changing LA's Often not recognising previous experience/qualifications from teacher's, nurses , and other professionals which are now being excepted and targeted by some LA's, but will still have too do standard training.
This will put a greater input too the professionalism of Foster Parenting and be excepted better from people who are undecider's like your DH who is also a professional and would have a greater understanding and knowledge of young people and could learn more. Think we all have too be innotive look too change for a better future, and not put people off.
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