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Am embarrassing question - hate myself for asking this(11 Posts)
My dh and I have thought about fostering for a few years. I worked in childcare and we have grown up children (almost) of our own. Asked lots of questions of agencies etc but I have a question I am embarrassed to ask, a question I fear I will be judged on, one I couldn’t ask social workers only foster carers. Here goes - cringe - what if I don’t like the child - said it! When I worked in childcare and I know some of my childminding friends have told me they connect better with some children than others. Sometimes I have met children who I don’t feel a connection with. Is this just saying fostering isn’t for me. I hope I have worded this so it comes across. It’s one of those things I am embarrassed to say out loud. I like children, had 4 of my own, worked in childcare for 20 years but sometimes I have met children and I am glad when it’s their time to be picked up. I am an awful human being aren’t I ? Please be gentle in your replies. I wasn’t sure I should even post this but it’s at the back of my mind when we talk about fostering and I need to say it.
I would be inclined to say fostering isn't for you...
I imagine it wouldn't be for me either, for much the same reason.
I've fostered children that I don't personally like. Some children are difficult, some are charming. It's not like looking after your own children.
When we first started out fostering and had a particularly difficult girl to look after, I spoke to my supervising social worker about how to cope with my feelings. He told me to treat it like a project with a start and end date, be professional and do the best job I could do. She was with us for a few months and we rubbed along really well after a few weeks. We are still in touch now.
I think everyone meets kids that they just can't take to and anyone who says otherwise is lying. So long as you are kind and professional, I think that is enough.
Hi OP. If you said this to me, professionally or personally, I would not think that you are an awful human being. I would think that you are a normal human being. Most of us feel that way from time to time - about other adults or children.
The only thing that concerns me is that you feel you have to hide it. You need to be completely open throughout the assessment process and when fostering. Believe me, lots of problems will probably come up along the way. Not liking a child might be the least of your worries! Like a PP said, you'll need support, and to get the best out of that you'll need to be honest - for your sake, your family's sake, and your foster children's sake.
All the best of luck
I'm a foster carer and I had the same fear. I've been lucky as I've ended up with the first boy I had on respite on long term placement but I had another boy on respite who while he was very nice I'd have struggled to build a rapport with as he had no personality. I'd have happily looked after him but it wouldn't have been the easy, good laugh I have now. You don't just get "dumped" with children full time. You might have them for weekends first and get to know them first as well so you can assess if you think you can get on with them. If you're only doing respite care they're only with you a few days. Long term placements are matched well hopefully
Thank you so much! I didn’t say anything as I thought it was maybe just me. My childminding friends do say they have children they don’t ‘gel’ with and that made me feel better. Again thanks so much for your comments. I can see now how to manage these feelings, with support.
I think when you've not fostered before it sounds like an awful question to ask, unprofessional almost. But it is a really really good question to ask your supervising social worker. They will be able to tell you about the support available in this situation.
Fyi I had a 14 year old boy who I couldn't stand! There was just nothing endearing about him at all, he was rude, miserable, greedy, obsessed, I could go on. The placement came to a natural end, he had no idea I didn't like him, I did my job just like I'm doing now with a teen I do like!
But you're only human and you should ask the question, you'll be glad you did.
Your replies are really reassuring. We’ve been thinking of doing it for years but wanted our children to be older, which they are now but this has been at the back of my mind. I’m really glad I shared this, thank you so much.
You can't tell which children you will get on with. I had a great quirky lad with me for over a year who I really loved, probably more than any of the children we had here. He's a man now, in prison so you can never tell!
What an honest question! I think this is very normal and OK to explore with your assessing SW or SSW anytime throughout fostering. You will never know how you are going to be with a child placed or indeed what they may trigger personally for you. This is why the support of your SSW is so important so you can work through those feelings.
Good luck with your application, I am sure you will be fine!
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