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Fostering Alice – Failing parents

Fulltime Foster Carer - Harriet author of: A Less Ordinary Family

Fostering Alice – Failing parents

Fostering Alice Blog.


With all the focus on Alice at the end of last week and over the weekend, I hadn’t realised how much I had neglected Annie and Lauren. I know I have pretty much left them to it in terms of getting ready for school, getting their stuff together and getting on with their homework. Annie has always been pretty self sufficient and happy to get on with things herself. Lauren is less like this, but since starting secondary school has been thrown a bit in the deep end in terms of the organisation that is required to survive day to day.

Today was one of those days that we were faced head on with that #parentfail feeling. Lauren arrived home after school looking like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. I asked her how her day had gone – at which point she burst in to tears. She had been given a lunch time detention by her form tutor. She was completely mortified by the whole experience. She said it was so embarrassing – that she had been given this in front of her whole class. Then she had to turn up to the classroom for detention and sit with what she described as the ‘naughty children’.

What had she possibly done to merit such a punishment. Well it wasn’t what she had done – it was what I hadn’t done. I had not signed her homework planner and the form teacher wanted to make an example of her – to show the class how important it was to get it signed. I was furious! Furious with the form tutor and furious with myself for forgetting to do. Whilst it is easily done – particularly when things are busy – it is not an excuse and it is not fair on Lauren to take the punishment.

After a long chat, hot chocolate and biscuit, she said she felt better. I said I would contact the form tutor to explain – but she pleaded with me not too. Charlie and I need to sit down and work out how we can better support Lauren and Annie. I do feel that Alice gets a lot of the attention and is definitely taking our time away with our daughters. We need to plan better so they don’t get the dregs of our attention.

Whilst Lauren has done a great job of being independent – we mustn’t forget she is only twelve!! It felt like a bit of a wake up call that we still haven’t got our full entitlement of respite in place for Alice. As with most things with social services, if you are not constantly on at them – nothing happens!!

I will be making another call in the morning!!

A Less Ordinary Fostering Family Blog.

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