Emma’s Fostering Blog
We were in our second year of Fostering when Sophie came to live with us from a children’s home, she had 17 placement moves she was just 11 yrs. old.
I remember being told that carers often had a honey moon period before seeing the behaviours but this wasn’t our experience. On the second day while out she decided to run and then for at least 4 months, each time being returned. Then it stopped -over time we were able to build a good relationship, it wasn’t always easy but we felt we were getting there, but then it seemed everything changed overnight.
At contact the Mother had a disagreement with the Social worker, turned to Sophie and shouted ‘I’ll get you back home’ Every weekend Sophie got angry as if to pick a fight with us, she would pack a small bag, coming down the stairs she would be shouting ‘I like it here but I’m going home’ It was so terribly sad as a few hours later she would turn up at the door after being rejected by her parents yet again- false promises at contact.
At 16 at her LAC review she told them she was going home and then we had no choice but to let her go, I was distraught thinking if it doesn’t work out where will she go, who will care about her as I do, there was no safety net as once she had gone she couldn’t move back. Her early life experiences had been full of rejection so it was terribly sad. She had a young brother allowed to live at home, three adopted siblings taken at birth and two older brothers also in care. This entire time all she wanted was to be loved- our love wasn’t enough she wanted her parent’s love and acceptance- her loss was unbearable for her. We didn’t hear anything for 6 months- despite enquiring and raising concerns, no one seemed to care.
A year later I got a text ‘hi’ and so we arranged to meet. She was back with her parents sleeping on the sofa and I was horrified to hear how she was left to get on with it, no one had checked in to see how she was and my heart sunk, neglected all over again, I felt so sorry for her. I got her dinner, gave her a few pounds, it made us feel better that we cared. … I had become that significant person in her life and to this day still am.
Hopefully I’ve made a difference with all the children we’ve welcomed in our home and hopefully they will always have someone who cares.
My thoughts are- we must ensure we plan for all eventualities, to not have a family to call or lean on makes everything in life so much harder even as you get older.
Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!