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HAS anyone here offered refuge in their home to a refugee or fostered a child refugee?

(42 Posts)
Chewingthecrud Tue 18-Oct-16 19:46:01

DH is desperately keen we do this but I don't know the first thing about it

We have children ourselves but have room and the finances to afford to support them.

But we both work out the house.
We are quite rural.

Is it just an awful idea? Has anyone any direct experience?

PersianCatLady Tue 18-Oct-16 19:51:06

Personally I think that there are children in the UK who also need your help and I would really like to understand why you would prefer to foster a refugee child rather than a child from the UK.

Undersmile Tue 18-Oct-16 19:52:37

How old are your children? Are you willing to let them live with children that are traumatised, likely with PTSD, that will need a great deal of your time and support, likely at the expense of your existing children?
There was an article in either Guardian or Telegraph a month ago about families that had done this (with children, so it is possible).

Chewingthecrud Tue 18-Oct-16 19:57:24

To try and answer and pls don't flame me

He is thinking of an older teenager refugee. So a fair bit older than our children.
He works in mental health services so has experience of the type of issues they may have.

We did briefly foster some years back before we had children and had a horrible episode with the child's own family which ended our fostering. SS tried to support us during that but it was terrible and we had to move house in the end so we wouldn't consider fostering a local child or teenager again sadly.

kawla Tue 18-Oct-16 19:58:46

Persiancatlady. hmm
The Op could possibly want to help a child that has been through unfortunate events that are far less likely to have happened to some children born and bred in the UK.

If this helps my uncle has adopted a refugee. She is an absolutely delightful girl and although she has been through a lot and has lost all her family, she has thrived and is clever and well behaved. She obviously needed support but it was very little as she is young and may not be fully aware if what has happened to her.

Best of luck flowers

hesterton Tue 18-Oct-16 19:59:47

I've worked with foster families and unaccompanied minors although not in care sector. To be honest if I were a foster carer I would happily house almost any of those children. They were so motivated and desperate to learn. Some had cultural issues - I remember one student who was upset because he hadn't realised how we use bathrooms (not for twice daily big splashy room soaking strip washes!)

The only real problem was one boy whose foster carers were very much stay at home in front of tv types and he was desperate to go to museums and libraries, concerts and gardens. He was bored silly.

Chewingthecrud Tue 18-Oct-16 20:10:20

Thank you hesterton and Kawla

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Tue 18-Oct-16 20:19:51

Didn't think you could take children older than your own?

PollyHampton Tue 18-Oct-16 20:25:51

My parents do similar. They are retired and take refugee children who have family in the UK or families from their home country willing to take on the children. So they typically look after them for a few months while paperwork etc is being sorted. They love doing it and we hope to do the same if needed in a few years time when we have more time/space

PersianCatLady Tue 18-Oct-16 20:27:22

He works in mental health services so has experience of the type of issues they may have
Well it definitely sounds like you are more suited to foster a refugee child than most people.

SS tried to support us during that but it was terrible and we had to move house in the end so we wouldn't consider fostering a local child or teenager again sadly
That's awful and I am sorry that happened to you.

I should have asked you more about your plan before I jumped down your throat but I see your reasons now.

Bubblebloodypop Tue 18-Oct-16 20:27:24

Bryony Farmer on YouTube has done this and has a few vlogs about her experience. I can't link from the app but just search her name and the vlogs about fostering are named quite obviously. They could be useful?

kelper Tue 18-Oct-16 20:29:37

mumontherun our foster son is 9 years older than our ds.

Jessia0 Tue 18-Oct-16 23:43:35

would you foster one who might be 14 or might be 24?

scatterolight Wed 19-Oct-16 13:43:53

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

DollyBarton Wed 19-Oct-16 13:51:08

Scatterolight, stop scaremongering about immigrants. Obviously anyone who decides to foster a child, immigrant or otherwise, is responsible for protecting and ensuring the safety of the other children under their care. With fostering children from anywhere there are risks that need to be managed and carefully navigated. You don't just ask for a foster child and get given one the next day to live happily ever after. Fostering is a difficult and serious choice people make and it's certainly not just 'the immigrants' who sexually assault people along the way but these are some of the many issues that foster parents are both aware of and make the choice to take a risk on anyway, thankfully.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 19-Oct-16 13:53:36

Ignoring all of those who aren't actually answering your question, your best port of call is your county council, if you ask to speak to someone in children's services they can point you in the right direction.

scatterolight Wed 19-Oct-16 14:18:31

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Cumberland Wed 19-Oct-16 20:04:13

OP one of you would need to be at home if you fostered a refugee teen, just the same as when you previously fostered.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 19-Oct-16 20:11:32

Have a look here OP. You can get more information from them on safety etc,

Chewingthecrud Wed 19-Oct-16 22:17:09

Yes Cumberland DH works at home.

Thanks to all those who replied with useful thoughts.
DH is exploring it some more.

We will carefully consider it and always think of what is right for our own children too of course.

Athenajm80 Wed 19-Oct-16 23:18:54

I think it's great that you're thinking of doing this. I would love to do it, those poor children have seen the most terrible things that we can only imagine and they need someone to care for them and give them some kind of stability. If I didn't live on my own with no children, then it's definitely something I would want to do, but I doubt I'd be a good option as I don't have experience of bringing up children and I can't give up my job (mortgage commitments etc)

Well done to you and OH for considering it, and I hope you find the information you need. Sorry I can't offer any practical advice but I just wanted to show my support.

scatterolight Thu 20-Oct-16 11:12:01

I've just popped back to this thread to see my messages deleted. It's really quite outrageous that MN mods think it ok to censor reasonable concerns on this issue.

There HAVE been cases of migrants masquerading as children. The authorities methods of checking are wholly inadequate. There have also been horrific consequences to the existing children in the foster homes these migrants have been placed in. Perhaps referring to what happened to these children is what got my posts deleted so I will leave it up to people's imaginations.

OP, be careful your DH does not trade your children's safety for the virtuous feelings he gets from his do-gooding.

Owllady Thu 20-Oct-16 11:20:36

On the news last night it said less than 5% were not children
I have a 15 year old that is over 6ft, size 12 feet, looks like a man, talks like a man. He's still a child.

Op, there is another poster on mn who fosters refugees but I think she is in Calais. Hopefully she'll see this too. Good luck

IhatchedaSnorlax Thu 20-Oct-16 11:24:23

I hope it works for you Op as I think it's a great thing to do. Good luck.

drspouse Thu 20-Oct-16 11:42:48

Having looked into fostering before we adopted:

You would probably need to go through the regular fostering approval.
I don't think one of you would necessarily need to be at home full time if it's fostering teens.
Yes, there have been a very small number of cases of adult refugees posing as children. Fostered teens in the UK have also been through incredible trauma, some have inappropriate behaviour way beyond their years, you take that risk when fostering anyone, I wouldn't think the risk of adult-like behaviour was any greater with a refugee child. Possibly less so as many fostered teens already have a network of adults who are in contact with them inappropriately where the refugee won't.
It's very unusual to foster a teen older than your own children but if your own children are quite young (i.e. a really big age gap) I gather it may be easier (not easy with a 10yo and a 14yo).

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