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Would fostering be appropriate for me?

(18 Posts)
nineanimals Tue 18-Apr-17 18:42:03

I'm 47. Married with one DD who's 8.

We have a large 5 bed house. I work part time. DH works full time ++

We are very comfortable in the little bubble of our life.

I have been thinking for many years of looking into fostering because we have so much and I would love to make a difference to a child in need.

BUT

I'm not a "natural parent" (I don't find parenting easy)

Will it adversely affect my DD?

Will I have the time and energy to do it?

Any advice appreciated.

Heratnumber7 Tue 18-Apr-17 18:44:33

i'm not a "natural parent" (I don't find parenting easy)
Then it's not for you.

Will it adversely affect my DD?
Potentially, yes

Will I have the time and energy to do it?
It will take a lot of your time and energy, and from time to time, all the mental strength you possess.

willycayote Tue 18-Apr-17 18:54:00

Agree with PP - fostering is super-intense parenting, often with a very high concentration of the difficult parenting bits, because the kids are facing a lot of challenges. You're doing it without the 'ownership' and shared identity of legal family - either bio or adopted. Add to that all the pressure of the legalities and professional parts and social work stuff, and it's a very very big job.

If you're not a 'natural' parent anyway then yes I think it would be incredibly hard for you, and likely to draw a significant proportion of your emotional resources from your dd.

It's lovely that you want to share the stuff you've been blessed with. Maybe consider financially supporting a charity that manages fostering and adds useful extras like play therapy etc.

SlB09 Tue 18-Apr-17 19:00:30

Just a thought but does it have to be children? Just if your not a natural parent it may be a huge struggle. There are other ways to share your home and love to others without fostering which can be mentally and physically extremely demanding.
Examples:

Night stop - providing a room and meal for young people in crisis who are at risk of homelessnes/sofa surfing (this is volunteer basis)

Spare chair sunday - provide social support to lonely older people by inviting them to yours on a sunday, this would be great example for your DD too.

Refugees at home - providing a safe space/room for refugees in your home for short periods.

Obviously I realise these may be far from what you have in mind but its just some alternatives that still enable to share your home, life and love to benefit others.

You can always ring your local fostering office who are normally very happy to discuss the fostering role or put you in contact with other fosterers. X

Rainatnight Tue 18-Apr-17 19:06:17

I agree with PPs and think the alternative ideas outlined above are great.

Why on earth would you want to be a foster carer if you're not a 'natural' parent? Do you see these children as your way of 'giving something back'? If so, make a donation to Action for Children or someone.

Unless I'm misunderstanding what you mean? Do you find it difficult, think you're not good at it, don't enjoy it...?

flapjackfairy Tue 18-Apr-17 19:12:41

Also you would need one of you to be at home full time ideally and many local authorities and agencies insist on it.

SmurfPants Tue 18-Apr-17 19:16:05

no no no no no! Please don't attempt to foster if you're not a 'natural parent'! Why on earth would you even consider this?!

Maybe look into other voluntary opportunities that your skill set would be more suited to if you want to give something back somehow.

Jaagojaago Tue 18-Apr-17 19:51:53

Nothing you've described makes me understand why you're even considering this.

nineanimals Tue 18-Apr-17 21:07:38

I'm not saying I'm not a good parent. No ones perfect obviously but I think I'm above average in that regard. I just don't find it easy. Perhaps I worded it wrong.

Pinkandwhiteblossoms Tue 18-Apr-17 21:08:44

You might just find you're a natural foster parent op.

Why not give it a try?

Gallavich Tue 18-Apr-17 21:11:59

I'm not a natural parent. I'm a good parent, to my ds, but I do find it difficult. I'm also a social worker and I know 100% that I wouldn't be up to the task of fostering.
What I plan on doing is doing supported lodgings (16-21) when ds is older.
Fostering is really difficult at times. Although, if you have good support and your dh is willing to take on more than 50% of the work when he's at home (as you may need reprieve) then you may be suitable.

nineanimals Tue 18-Apr-17 21:45:50

Thank you everyone. Food for thought.

lorisparkle Tue 18-Apr-17 21:57:18

Have you considered doing respite for a child with special needs?

wizzywig Tue 18-Apr-17 22:04:21

But sometimes being a 'natural parent' can mean you are too soft?. Perhaps finding parenting a bit awkward/ unnatural means the op will find it easier to follow social services rules, give the child back. Im sure she isnt saying she is cold and unfeeling

Toomanycats99 Tue 18-Apr-17 22:35:43

There is another type of fostering I believe. Places for older children as a bridge between foster care and independent living. So you provide them a home and basic support but I believe they are then responsible for doing their own food shopping, cooking their own meals etc. Maybe that would work?

7to25 Tue 18-Apr-17 22:44:28

My friends do respite care for a wee boy with autism. They look after him for one weekend a month. I think it is a great break for his Mum but it took a while for everyone to settle into this new routine. They are 10 years older than you with grown up children. Something for the future?

bexollie Wed 19-Apr-17 10:40:55

My opinion is to have a think about why and what makes you think of fostering as being something to do.
Call the local authority and ask for some information about fostering and go to an information evening . This will answer any questions you have .Then decide if you feel it's for you ,there is no perfect parent we can only be the best we can be it's difficult for us all but there must be something that inspired you. Fostering isn't like having a child of your own but it's something you are doing for the authority or agencycling you choose. You also need your think about the fact that agencies pay more money but have more troubled children than the LA generally.
Think about an age group of child you'd like too and then during the assessment which takes up to six months average they will talk to you about all sorts of things and do a report in two stages .The first part for me looked at my family what I'm like and loads of information was collected up .Thierry report gets sent in and if they don't think you are suitable they will tell you .It's not for people on this forum to tell you if you're suitable as you will probably have lots of things to bring to fostering and until you explore it then you eons know . It's a very interesting process and you can put your all into it and read the books that they recommend and learn about the children that are in care as there are so many things to learn. It's really good , if you go ahead look at attachment issues and safe guarding and safe caring . Good luck

Veryflummoxed Tue 23-May-17 09:25:40

Go to your L A web site. Go to information sessions, talk to other carers. If you do decide to go ahead talk openly to social workers. They will be able to tease out exactly what you mean by not a natural parent and help you to understand if there is a role for you and what it is.

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