Emma’s Fostering Blogs.
Emotionally being a Foster carer is challenging, even as you vow never to take in another child, never to allow yourself to become so involved again, having to face the heartbreak of giving them up – we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and carry on, then you wait for a call from the duty team saying they have a child who needs a caring nurturing home.
Hannah will not be returning to her birth parents and we have permanency and I couldn’t imagine life without her now. Importantly she is part of our family, and I have given her a sense of belonging because I believe in her and made sure her voice is heard. We have made so many good memories for the future together, and the joy of knowing she will grow and develop into a confident and capable independent person. Hannah has a good education, and I know she will get a good job. When Hannah has finished her education, is in work, and is ready to leave home, as our birth children we will support her.
Being a Foster carer can really pull on your heart strings when decisions are made about returning a child home, we are looking after vulnerable children who have been neglected and abused, and we worry because we need to be sure that they will be safe if they return. It is heart breaking when you feel wrong decisions are made and the damage this can do to a child. Hannah has two younger sisters, her half-sister Emily, and Rebecca; both are happy and living together with another Foster carer. One day on Social media the father found Rebecca he hadn’t been in her life for years, he left when Emily was born, as she wasn’t his.
Suddenly after years he was back on the scene wanting to take care of his biological daughter, he didn’t want Hannah because she had a disability or Rebecca as she wasn’t his. The Local Authority made it clear they would not split the two sisters, and eventually he agreed to take them together. Before the plan was adoption, but they struggled to find an adopter as the youngest had special needs, so the professionals involved decided this was a good outcome.
We all thought this was a bad decision, we expressed our concerns – but they didn’t listen and it went ahead. This decision tore the three siblings apart, from having contact, to none, as he moved miles away and eventually stopped the contact. Two years later Emily was rejected again and back in care without Rebecca.
My thoughts are Foster Carers want to ensure children improve their quality of life, but sometimes bad decisions are made and we feel powerless to help. High quality social work practice and sound professional judgement will always need to be at the heart of any decision to separate brothers and sisters.
Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!