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Questions from a child in foster care

(3 Posts)
Lilicat1013 Wed 06-Dec-17 16:34:38

I hope this is the appropriate board. I was hoping someone on here could offer me some advice.

I have recently started a new job which involves spending time with two children with some additional needs who are in foster care (not together, two separate families). I don't know anything about the background of the children as it is not necessary for me to know in my role. I am aware though that both children haven't been with their current foster family very long.

Both children are quite interested in my life and my own children, I have two boys who have additional needs and the two children often ask about them. The older of the two children I look after is particularly curious about them.

Today I was asked if they were mine (rather than fostered or adopted) and when I confirmed they were I was asked why they lived with me. I found it very difficult to come up with a suitable answer to that. I don't know why they are not with their birth family so I can't tailor the answer accordingly.

I was then asked if I brought my children things and if they lived with me would I buy them things.

I suspect I will face similar questions in the future and I was wondering if anyone on here had any guidance on how best to deal with these sort of questions from a child in foster care. The child seems to like their foster family very much and is generally seems happy, I think today they were having a rough day but I think this will come up again and I hope to be prepared with appropriate answers.

Unfortunately I can't gain further information from the child's foster family as it isn't possible to speak to them without the child present or my employer as they don't seem to provide any guidance on this topic.

I was hoping someone on here who has fostered children could give me an idea on the best way to answer these questions. I would really appreciate it.

BellaCat123 Wed 06-Dec-17 22:03:03

Hmm I can see how it is tricky when you don’t have much information to go on.

Maybe something along the lines of ‘my children live with me because their social workers know that it is the right place for them to live, just like your social worker knows that this is the best place for you to live’. That way you are focusing on why foster care is right for them not why living with birth family is wrong for them?

As for living with you is it possible to tell them you only have enough bedrooms for your two children so wouldn’t have room to be a foster family too?

Hopefully some other people will have some ideas but hope this is somewhat helpful!

Lilicat1013 Thu 07-Dec-17 07:49:57

Thank you so much, that is really helpful. The social worker idea is a good way to put it. I didn't want to say anything that might suggest anything negative about either their birth family or their current situation.

The bedroom idea is great as well, I mentioned recently that my younger son gets up very early and wakes other people up, including his brother by jumping on him. I don't think they would want to share a room with him!

I tend to share funny or silly stories about my own children when they ask. I think I might need to choose stories that make it clear they would be a bit difficult to live with (both boys are severely autistic) and we aren't able to do some of the fun things they do with their foster family like go to Flip Out.

Thank you again.

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