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Asking on behalf of my mum: What to do with a 16 year old foster son, who has been caught smoking cannabis, social workers doing shite all...

(12 Posts)
NatalieJaneIsPregnantAgain Wed 16-Jul-08 17:30:58

My mum, having brought up 5 teens alone is just at a loss with him. He is polite, well mannored, doing well with a college course he is on, has had minor run ins with the police (mainly being in scuffles with other boys) as with a lot of kids in care he has had a bit of a troubled past involving his family etc.

My sister (who still lives with my mum and the foster son) found him smoking cannabis, watched him buying from the dealer, foster son says he has spent £240 on cannabis in the last fortnight (he has been doing odd jobs for my mum and other people to raise money for a car, supposedly, also had his birthday a couple of weeks ago so had money from that as well) mum has phoned his social worker to be met with a "oh well, it could be worse, you'll handle it" but she doesn't know how to handle it.

She can't phyiscally 'ground' him, she can't stop him going to college (which is where he has got involved in it), and I think is just feeling slightly out of her depth. I have only had a quick 2 minute conversation with her about it, so don't know all the details as yet. But I wanted to know what I can advise her to do when I speak to her properly tomorrow. Obviously she is going to have to push it harder with the social worker, but from what she has mentioned in the past about the SW, she isn't getting her hopes up for an answer.

Was hoping the greatness of MN might give us some ideas? TIA.

loopylou6 Wed 16-Jul-08 19:10:02

hmm your probably not gonna like what im gonna say, but, smoking weed is the 'thing' that teens do, im not condoning it what so ever, but tbh i cant see what your mum can do to stop him. on the positive side at least he earning his weed money and not stealing it, maybe she should take the approach of being very open about it then he will feel comfortable discussing it with her without feeling judged and that way she can keep an eye that he isnt doing any other type of drugs.

FioFio Wed 16-Jul-08 19:11:25

Message withdrawn

ivykaty44 Wed 16-Jul-08 19:12:27

What are his friends like? Are they smoking weed aswell?

FioFio Wed 16-Jul-08 19:12:30

Message withdrawn

Spidermama Wed 16-Jul-08 19:15:46

£240 in a fortnight? He needs a cheaper dealer. wink

Sorry. Not funny. But my point is that's very unlikely for even people with a really big weed habit.

FioFio Wed 16-Jul-08 19:19:30

Message withdrawn

NatalieJaneIsPregnantAgain Wed 16-Jul-08 19:52:32

See I kind of dabbled with it when I was a little bit younger than him, but never spent that much, and yes I did mean £240 not £24!

Like I said I've not had a proper conversation with my mum yet, but knowing him as I do, I think due to his past, he is a needy little boy trapped in a nearly grown mans body. If he has a girlfriend he is absolutely in love with her within hours, if he has a best friend, he will go to the ends of the earth and back just to see them etc. I am guessing he is buying for all his mates, which to me, is much more telling of the underlying problem than the smoking itself IYKWIM?

I guess she just has to ride the storm with it, I came through it, and I know for sure that at least one of my sister did, as well as my friends who did it with me!

I just hope his insecurities don't pull him towards the harder drugs.

gothicmama Wed 16-Jul-08 19:57:22

your mum could seek support from her link worker, she needs to ensure her records are up todate and note that she has told his social worker, she could use Ask Frank to get information for her /him.

unavailable Fri 18-Jul-08 13:12:11

£240 a fortnight is a worrying large amount to spend on cannabis. Do you know how long he has been doing this? I have experience of working with young people with drug problems and have come to be alot more wary about cannabis (especially skunk) use than I used to be. I do believe it can be addictive and also psychologically damaging for a significant minority of people. I have had many young people express to me that they feel they "need " it and cant stop. Unfortunately, most drug agencies dont deal with cannabis problems - the resources are put into Class A drugs only.
Gothicmama is right about FRANK - they provide some useful leaflets etc with advice about how to cut down/stop smoking. Either she and/or social worker should have a non confrontational conversation with him about it - his patterns of use, how he feels about it, if he wants to cut down etc. I wouldnt be happy with the social workers casual attitude to this and let her know I expect support in addressing it.

OverMyDeadBody Fri 18-Jul-08 13:15:19

Is he smoking £240 worth of cannabis a fortnight by himself? Because that is a hell of a lot fo weed to be getting through. That's roughly an eighth a day which is 8 spliffs' worth shock

I'm not sure what to advise really, there's no physical way of 'stopping'him is there and if he's smoking that mjuch he is well and trully hooked and dependant on it, psychologically.

Lauriefairycake Fri 18-Jul-08 13:18:58

not surprised at this - our social worker's were all funny about us having a non-smoking household and said we would not be able to 'make' a 14 year old give up hmm

They just didn't seem to care that it was illegal and unhealthy.

What I would do is ground him out of college hours, take him to and from, have much closer eye on his money, make him sit through a lecture on paranoid psychosis from skunk use

All this while also telling him you care about him and that you want him to have firmer boundaries until he is able to determine for himself what is right for him - yada yada

I also ate hash at college in cakes but the skunk is a whole other animal and can be pretty dangerous for developing minds

Also I would be worried about him being exploited by some new best friends (and being bullied) as it is way too much for a couple of weeks weed

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