Emma’s Fostering Blog.
Rhianna was 11, refused to go to School, now permanently excluded, she had disrupted every class and her learning and social skills were poor; I was even refused 6 hours a week respite!
She was challenging and complex and was reported as ‘missing’ from Foster care. Rhianna wore her hoody down over her face and found eye contact difficult and it was clear from the start that she had very strong views about her identity- hair short and dressed as a boy.
I actually felt things were improving slightly, she seemed settled, chatty and no longer wore the hoody, then one night she didn’t come home so I made some calls, went out to look for he then later I phoned the duty team, and reported her missing to the police. I was contacted later by someone who claimed she was at their house, when I arrived I felt out of my comfort zone, it was very intimidating. Then every night we were ringing duty and the Police.
One evening we saw her get out of someone’s car, she told me they were her friends, but I knew they were encouraging her to stay out. The Police and her Social worker tried to talk to her but it didn’t help, her attitude changed, she had all ‘new friends’, the hoody was back and it seemed she was in the same dark place that she had come from.
We didn’t feel supported, no one seemed to care, she had been let down before and it was happening again so eventually we had no choice but give notice, she was breaking down the placement and we couldn’t keep her safe, so she moved. That placement broke down, she was homeless and in the emergency bed. I got a call from duty Social Worker as they were desperate to find Rhianna a bed for the night. It was difficult, I couldn’t say no, I felt sorry for her, but I made it clear two weeks tops as I had a holiday booked, duty assured me they would find a suitable home before then. I was told to keep her in 24 /7 as I needed to keep her safe. Two weeks were almost up; I worried as I still hadn’t heard anything despite many times calling them. On the holiday day 9am the Social worker came, as we packed her belongings into the car, I was told they hadn’t been able to arrange anywhere.
Later Rhianna phoned me to say that she had been dropped off in town until 4 o’clock, left to walk the streets. I was so upset, this was so wrong, let down again by me!
My thoughts are Rhianna needed therapeutic help, they wouldn’t listen, and they wanted me to hold her. I found it impossible to work with this Fostering Social Worker, our professional relationship had diminished, and there was no trust now.
Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!