I asked James (name changed) what he would like for Christmas, big mistake! The list was long but then he made it clear that I could choose out of that list and he didn’t expect it all, good job really.
The good thing with James is that life has set his expectations low and when those expectations are exceeded he really shows his appreciation. He has told me stories of past Christmases in the family home, of the house being full of strangers, no food, no decorations, and certainly, no presents.
Mum is out of it on drugs for days on end and James being confined to his room. It really does open your eyes to the mistreatment of children, when you foster. The stories that I have heard over the years would fill a book and it’s hard to realise that these are actually true stories and not fictional.
I do have sympathy for people who struggle with addictions but, to my mind, your children always come first. The parents come from all kinds of backgrounds too. It’s not down to rich or poor, race, religion, or anything else. I’ve looked after children from all main religions, different races, and from different financial backgrounds.
Foster Care Blog.
Drugs are behind a lot of placements as well as alcohol, mental health, and physical health. I have a lot of admiration for parents who flag when they are struggling and then work alongside Social Services while they sort out their issues, I think that’s a brave way to get help but it is also rare.
The most common situation is where family or neighbours have voiced their concerns regarding what is happening in the household and alerted Social Services or the Police. In the past, it was a regular occurrence to have a police car turn up with various children sitting inside.
I remember the placement of 3 children who turned up, with the Police, after a Jehovah’s Witness had called the Police after hearing children crying in a house and nobody answering the door when they knocked.
That sharp-thinking person could have actually saved a life as those children were in a terrible state when they came to us. When I’ve been asked to talk to Carers in training it is sometimes hard to explain the reason children come into care without scaring them off. But there is no point trying to paint a nice picture of children coming into care as it’s not a nice situation for anyone involved.
James hasn’t got a match this week or training so no early starts and standing around on a freezing touchline. James is disappointed but, secretly, I’m quite happy. I always ran my boys around for their Rugby matches, when they were younger, mainly on a Sunday morning.
A drive down to Deal, in Kent, on a cold Sunday morning, for a 10 am kick-off, wasn’t my favourite thing to do, but you just do it. I said to James that maybe we could do some Christmas shopping but he wanted to do it all online and I have to agree that’s probably the best way to do it.
Fosterman – A Blogging Single Foster Carer.