Emma’s Fostering Blog. Another rejection
I feel like I have failed with Craig.
When Craig 14 yrs. came to us we knew it would be a challenge but we never realised just how much. Craig had been in Foster care since he was 6, then his Foster Carer died so he was moved, and has had two carers since. They were seeking a placement urgently as his current Foster carer had given notice and wanted him out immediately as they couldn’t cope any longer. We agreed to a month while they were looking for a more suitable placement as we knew we couldn’t support long term.
It has been 4 months now, the behaviour is out of control, and we are hanging in there by the skin of our teeth. Craig has stolen items from our home, sold most of his things, he absconds from school on a daily basis, and he has thrown a brick from a bridge onto a car windscreen.
He smoke’s cannabis; he lies compulsively, and is in trouble with the police, refuses to come back on time and often turning up in the middle of the night. I understand it’s not his fault and during supervision I was talking about this and I became tearful because I felt like a failure, I know my feelings are real, I really do care, and I know I shouldn’t feel guilty. It’s not the social workers fault, but I needed some empathy from her as she goes home at the end of her shift, I don’t, and I can’t recharge my batteries ready the next day.
I know my job is to advocate as strongly as possible for Craig as I have his best interests at heart, but I can’t do this anymore, I’m exhausted, and its awful feeling so guilty and responsible for him. There is so little support, because there isn’t much available, and they can’t find anyone willing to have him because the behaviours are so challenging.
This is now impacting on my family life, and I have to look after myself, my own mental health. I’m worried about the other children in placement because it’s not fun anymore as he keeps playing up and they are getting upset. Our agency won’t like us giving notice, and we probably won’t get another child for a while because of this, as if frozen out, and on the naughty step. I know I have to give notice as he needs far more support than a Foster family can offer and maybe this is the only way Craig will get the help he needs as I am his fourth Foster Carer now, and it’s happening again, another rejection for him.
My thoughts are I have supported Foster Carers who try and try in situations such as this, and watched as relationships break up, they experience mental health issues, and their own children suffer.
Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!