Emma’s Fostering Blog
It has been a particularly stressful week, visiting School almost on a daily basis and last night George had another meltdown, which resulted in him jumping on and breaking his bed.
As usual I can’t get hold of his Social worker. I had a call yesterday from a foster carer who was really upset as the young person she was caring for, she trashed her front room and completely went mad, and attacking her in the process, the Social worker immediately removed the child without consulting her and didn’t bother to ask how she felt.
She was worried about the ending as this young person had lived with her for over a year; she felt despite raising issues on a few occasions they had failed to address the boy’s behavioural problems or to provide her with appropriate support.
When she asked if it would be possible to see him she was told it could be unsettling and potentially unhelpful to the new fostering placement. It makes no sense that fostered children are treated differently, and their relationships are persistently broken when they are moved to new carers.
I had an unannounced visit from the FSW today, she seemed rather annoyed when I expressed how I felt about the way carers are treated in general; not properly supported or the fact that when a room is trashed we redecorate, replace items and often the cost of this is on us.
At the end of the visit I felt she had shrugged off a lot of the issues I raised, I would have preferred her just to have supported me in how I felt, even just listened, and acknowledged the difficulties rather than trying to defend the system.
I know what it’s like looking after a child for a period of time, you celebrate their successes, you are a shoulder to cry on and you watch them grow up. They become a big part of your family and however it ends, it’s a massive loss. Sometimes I think social workers and senior management have forgotten that they are dealing with real live human beings.
We are not a commodity, not just a number or a place to put heads on beds. We feel loss, we feel fear, and we feel disappointment and a whole range of big emotions because we are human beings and we need support.
The fact when we decide to foster our social lives and families routines change, giving a home to possibly a scared, angry and traumatised child we have to dedicate our own lives to improving theirs, this makes us amongst the most caring individuals in the country.
My thoughts are Carers want fostering Social workers who are reliable and available particularly at times of crisis, or stress; having emotional support alongside more practical elements. Should this job really be 9 to 5 or is it time for change!
Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!