Saturday’s Fostering Blog
Fostering a child with additional needs like Alice can sometimes take its toll on family life. We have learnt over the last four years that the best thing to do is to take regular times of respite. This is good for Alice to have a break and get someone to one time with a specialised carer, while Charlie and I take Lauren and Annie are away for a few days of rest.
When we first started taking respite a couple of years ago, it felt a little weird. Somehow we felt guilty that we were not taking Alice with us and that she was missing out. We have learnt over the years, that respite is vital for the long-term future of the placement. The simple thing is we need to get regular breaks so that we can continue to do a great job.
We are fortunate that we have a great friend that is trained to do respite. She can do all the medical care and invasive procedures that are required to look after Alice. Our friend is able to give her a break – home from home with the same rules and boundaries that we have, and yet with the bonus of having some one to one time. This means we can go away knowing that she is being cared for in the same way that we care for her and we can really have a break and spend some time just the four of us.
We have learnt not to feel guilty by this any more, but know that it is simply part of the job as foster carers to not only look after our foster child but to make sure our own children are being looked after and that we are looking after ourselves.
So after Alice is picked up for her break, we pack the car and head down the motorway for well deserved break.
A Less Ordinary Family Foster Care Blog