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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Medication Blog

Emma’s Fostering Blog

Medication

It’s been two weeks since James came as an emergency from home, and he will stay here until they can find a suitable home for him.

He has a lovely nature with a great smile. He is fairly independent and willing to try new things but very much in need of nurturing and needs a lot of one to one adult time. He really loves being read to, playing football and being outside. We are seeing major control issues, as in wanting to do only what he wants to do and throwing terrible tantrum so he defiantly needs strong boundaries, sanctions and rewards.

James puts everything in his mouth, and he walks down the stairs as a much younger child would. I have never met a child so young who loves all food including spicy food, pickles, brown sauce, chillies it seems as if it’s quite sensory. He is more tuned in to older boys as the first time he met my older son he ran to him and hugged him tight as if he had known him for years and he would rather hold his hand, sit next to him, than he would to me, as if he is not keen on woman.

We have established a bedtime routine, he goes to bed at 7pm but he can take over an hour to settle him.  After a week I decided to remove everything out of his room because he would get out of bed once I left the room playing, so after doing that he settled easier.

James wakes like clockwork at 4.30am every morning shouting, singing, banging, he gets up and goes to the toilet a few times banging doors and shouting, he makes strange sounds and  swears, he does not go back to sleep, despite trying. He is so hyper at that time in the morning so you have to get up with him

One of my major concerns is that I have no idea about this medication Melatonin he is on, whether alternatives were sought to address his underlying issues, how long he has been on this medication and whether he has some kind of addiction now to it, because on a couple of occasions he was screaming at me for more medication to help him sleep which I found strange as he is just 7 and I have not seen him tired since he has been here despite doing plenty of exercise and activities. I think sleep is important to everyone, how long can I manage such long days. 

He is running on less than 8 hours sleep, despite the medication.

My thoughts are how much more can they increase this medication, I think he is addicted and the sooner he gets CAMHS input in helping to find an alternative the better. James staying with any Foster carers long term, for this to work, we will need to find an alternative.

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

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Hooray

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Hooray!

It’s a difficult time at the moment as Dan has reluctantly moved bedroom, newly decorated in a teenage theme. Dan got a telescope as a present from his family.

We had set boundaries around this because a few times he was seen at the window with it stating he was looking at the stars, however it was day time, a girl lives opposite; her bedroom is also at the front. I wasn’t aware that he was also looking out of his window every time a person walked by and making out that he was sad. I found out when neighbour mentioned this to me, they asked if he was ok as he looked so unhappy!

Dan is having good and bad days at School, and he is struggling since moving up a year and having a new Teacher. He had a bad time at school towards the end of last term with behavioural issues but has managed to turn it around and is on contract now at school, this means he gets full points each week and he can use the points to buy things, he has done well, gone back with a good attitude and it’s not easy to get on contract.

However, I was asked to come into School. The Teacher explained she is starting reading with the class after lunch, and they will not be using computers during this time until the class is settled and working well. He is struggling accepting this as previously in his last class he was allowed on the computer during this time.

The Teacher explained to him that it could be something for him to aim for but if given she will be expecting him to be doing literacy work and not games. Dan was particularly aggressive today because of this decision, he is a stickler for routine, he is also very black or white in his thoughts and this also shows in his behaviour. 

Dan didn’t think this was fair – shouting, swearing and generally being unpleasant. Dan finds it very hard to accept decisions made about his behaviour as he never wants to take responsibility for his mistakes. So today I updated his routine chart and this includes rewards for staying on contract, although he is 12 he functions much younger and still needs visual aids.

I spoke to Dan I wanted to tell him all the positives, about all times he has done really well at School and we discussed setting up some rewards with him if he manages his targets and gets back on contract, it was nice seeing the smile on his face.

A couple of weeks later I read “Just to let you know that Dan made Golden time this week and is now on contract”. Hooray!

My thoughts are it’s a shame this behaviour happening again, but it is still possible to achieve but he needs to want to turn things around.

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

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Behaviour

Emma’s fostering Blog

Behaviour issues

It’s Tuesday morning.  School rang and informed me that Hannah was not going swimming this week because of her behaviour.

I thought isn’t swimming  part of the national curriculum,  by using withdrawal of that provision as a consequence for poor behaviour the school are interfering with her learning needs. To their annoyance I asked to see a copy of the school’s behaviour policy and asked to speak to the head teacher. I wanted to be sure that the steps in the policy were fully followed. I managed to get this changed instead of missing Swimming she couldn’t go on the computer in her free time, this gave her a positive message about the behaviour as she was quite upset over this.

At home small consequences invoked fairly and quickly work well for her. I remember she hated swimming the first time we took her but since making sure swimming is fun and enjoyable she has really come on, so I didn’t want a setback. Hannah only been back at School a week but I think the Christmas holidays have upset her routine and she has a new teacher so he is pushing boundaries.

There must be something in the water today as I just had lunch when the College rang this time about Dan, this is his second day back at College and he had been seen a number of times throwing a bottle, displaying very immature childlike behaviours, hitting other students on the head, running around and using his mobile during lessons. He has a new Tutor and by the sounds of she is not putting up with any unwanted behaviours. I spoke with her and we decided on a course of action and how to take this forward. I was pleased she rang; I think we both agreed that this was better dealt with immediately so he got the message and settled back down this term.

When Dan came home, he was looking rather sheepish and he knew she had phoned me, he also knew from over the years that if I get a call from School or now the College then that meant he would lose something of his choice. We discussed the situation and I told him the Tutor will keep in touch the minute she feels he is crossing the line. For Dan he needs this, nip the behaviour straight away or it will escalate and I actually feel he behaves better when he knows someone is looking out for him. Then we went over the ongoing boundaries; no texting or calling, turn the phone off in lessons, keep your hands to yourself, don’t get involved in silly behaviour and do not throw things. –

My thoughts are by telling him how proud I am and to date all he has achieved made him think about the types of choices he was making which could impact on his future.

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