Alice – Fostering Blogs
I could have done with term ending a week ago. I’m pretty sure I say this every year but this summer term is definitely a week too long. We have friends whose kids are in private schools and they seem to have got it right as they broke up over a week ago. I know by the end of the summer break I will be wishing time away for them to go back to school and go back to the weekly routine, but for now it feels like we are on our knees – crawling to the finish line of the end of term. Every day there seems to be a new battle with our foster child and every day we persevere and get through it – only to face the next one.
We are exhausted and really need a break. Although six weeks sounds like a long time – we know it is pretty much filled already – some family holiday time, some camping with friends and a few weeks of our foster child in holiday club – this is the part I’m most looking forward to – this will give Charlie, Lauren, Annie and I the rest we need – before the new term starts ago before we know it.
The good thing is that Alice loves holiday clubs – she goes to a local special needs club – where she can take part in all sorts of activities like swimming, climbing, horse riding and then there are days out too, to adventure parks and theme parks. She gets a one-to-one support worker who looks after her, and she pretty much has the staff wrapped around her little finger!! We always book transport too – which means we get an extra long days break. We worked out that we are the first on the pick up and last on the drop off of transport – what a bonus. It may sound pretty mercenary but we know our limits and know when we need a break. So we take the opportunities when they come.
Next year when she is ten years old she will be able to go on their residential for a five day break. She is already talking about it – which is great as she wont need much persuasion to go!! She is also hoping to go on the school residential next year – and as long as there are two medically trained staff who are willing to go then she will be doing that too!
We have learnt that you really do need to take the breaks when they are offered, and when they are not you need to find ways to get them – whether that is by pushing for respite of booking them into holiday clubs. If you don’t look after yourself then you can’t look after them properly. I remember in our training recently the guy leading the session asked us to think why when you are on a plane you are told in the safety instructions – adults put their life jackets on first – then the children. It sounds counter intuitive – but actually it is true we must take care of ourselves in order that we can take care of them.
A Less Ordinary Fostering Family Blog