Emma’s Fostering Blogs are by an experienced foster carer who gives you an honest and revealing insight into the ups and downs of foster care. A great resource for other carers and those interested in becoming carers.

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Fostering Blog | Time Heals

Emma’s fostering blog

When you are a foster carer it can be a roller coaster experience with happy and sad times, as you welcome a child into your home you never really know how long they will stay but after a short while they become part of the family and everyone embraces this.

Then one day everything changes as you hear from the social worker that the child is moving on. From being part of our family, now you have to let them go as you introduce another family, it’s not easy emotionally for the carer or child as you are preparing the child to move on.

It might be adoption or back to their family, none the less it hurts so much to know there will be a void in your life, a seat at the table where they once sat, an empty bedroom, then waving goodbye knowing it is unlikely you will see them again, but always thinking of them.

The house is so quite your thinking ‘I’m not sure if I can go through this heartbreak again…

I’m still here, still a foster carer after many years, and you do survive this but it never gets easier, you just use your experience and get through it. Thomas has been with us just over two years, he’s such a lovely boy who has a laugh that is infectious and a smile that lights up the room, he loves playing with his trains and he’s 3 now.

Thomas had come from a violent family, he was anxious all the time, hardly slept, and cried a lot of the time, what a massive difference when you see him now. Thomas is going to a good home and will have his forever family, it helps that I like them and I really believe he will be happy, wanted and loved by his new mummy and daddy.

Time is a great healer; it’s extremely hard when children move on for whatever reason, as you can doubt yourself! We shouldn’t though; we all do a good job in preparing children or young people on the next stage of their journey.

For Tom we gave him love and stability, we met all his needs and in the short time he lived with us, he achieved far beyond all expectations. If we hadn’t of given him such good experiences Thomas wouldn’t have been able to move on.

This was five years ago and as I am writing this it feels as if it was yesterday, I still think about him and all those lovely moments we shared. I am lucky though every Christmas I get a card with a little message letting me know he is happy with his mummy and Daddy.

My thoughts are this is truly what foster care is about, a happy ending for a child. I have to give myself a pat on the back as being a Foster Carer is special in my books.

Emma – A Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!

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Fostering Loss

Emma’s Fostering Blog

Losses

Understandably John is beside himself at the thought of his younger brothers going for adoption and his mother rejecting him, recently he had flash backs and disclosed some information which has been passed to his social worker. John is just about holding it together but I am afraid he is going to blow soon as there is so much going on in his head.

Today is contact- John came down in a pair of tracksuit bottoms that are old and have ripped pockets. The Social worker mentioned on a previous contact that his mother had complained about his clothes so I asked John politely if he could change into something else as he has clothing allowance and has built up a nice collection of clothes.

John immediately snapped at me, defiant he was wearing those or he wouldn’t go, and he didn’t talk all the way to contact.

I dropped him off and he left without saying goodbye. Later that day, imagine my surprise when I had a call from the Social worker to say that Johns mother was very upset that I had called her son a ‘tramp’ and ‘threatened him’;

John stated that I had told him unless he changed into something else I threatened not to take him to contact. Later I spoke to John about what he had told his mother at contact, John seemed surprised and denied it then going on the defensive and his mood changed. 

I explained to John that I found his behaviour concerning as none of it was true, I wanted him to know that by telling lies if something really happened people might not believe him, to cause such an issue over a pair of trousers was silly. There was a full blown outburst of swearing before stomping up the stairs into his room. 10 minutes later he was back down calm and laughing with my son.

On the next contact I was phoned again this time John had complained he had lost 2 stone in weight because the food here was such small portions. John had been missing breakfast now for a few days and asking for a sandwich in the evening rather than a hot meal, he told me he didn’t have much of an appetite.

I was concerned so I contacted school to find out what he was having for lunch, just as I thought he was not being honest with me, he was eating plenty. By now I knew John could be manipulative playing one of against the other. I felt relieved that I had kept such good notes and had built a relationship with his Social worker

My thoughts are John is hurting, he needs counselling but until then, having prompt actions and clear explanations for him will help him feel really cared for and get some of his experiences into perspective.

A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!

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Hobbies Blog

Emma’s Fostering Blog

Hobbies.

It’s very difficult to find activities and hobbies for children when you have no idea what they like, or choosing birthday or Christmas presents for a child you don’t know, this is very difficult.

I soon learned when Dan had pocket money that choosing something was a mammoth task for him, so I would find two things he liked and then get him to choose which one he would like, but even that would take ages.

It was almost his birthday, he had only been here 4 weeks so we tried to find out what he liked, only he didn’t know what he liked; he just found it impossible to choose anything himself.  In the end I got things like Lego, play dough and easy puzzles, things that we could work with together as Dan was much younger emotionally for his age.

I will never forget that birthday Dan opening his presents one after another, rather quickly, and it was obvious at that time, it meant nothing to him as he seemed emotionless stating ‘is that it’. I remember looking back feeling quite disappointed as I had tried hard to make his birthday special.

I have learned over the years with most children that it really is down to us to sow the seeds, and watch them grow.

It wasn’t long before I saw that Dan couldn’t play he didn’t know how to, so I set up a routine of play with him for a certain amount of time and then gradually over time moving away to encourage individual play.

Dan loved Thomas the tank engine he was 8 this seemed to be his only interest and whenever he saw a Thomas ride outside he wanted to go on it. At first it was ok he was small for his age but by the time he was 9 he had grown considerably and couldn’t fit in it anymore, despite him trying and then having a meltdown when we had to say no and this was very difficult and devastating for him.

While we were camping in Somerset we visited a small train station and we saw a steam train ‘flying Scotsman’ go past and people were waving so Dan started waving back, from then he loved all steam trains.

At Christmas we got him some DVDs, books on trains and a giant electric train set and he had a completely different reaction this time, as his face lit up. He spent ages playing and this was the first time we had seen him able to really enjoy playing alone.

My husband loves jigsaws he finds them relaxing, before long the two of them were busy working on ‘The mallard’ and when they completed it Dan was so pleased with himself, which was the best thing ever.

My thoughts are as Foster Carers it’s our role to support children to go on holiday and pursue hobbies, interests and talents and find opportunities for them to develop these.

Emma – A Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!