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.

Fostering Blogs

Fostering Teens

Emma’s fostering blog

Teens

Sam hasn’t been with me very long, often I find in the beginning most children are not used to having boundaries or people just caring, they have been hurt, rejected, and neglected.

I know with Sam I need to be calm, firm but fair in attitude with consistent boundaries, and this will take time in building trust on both sides. Today we are putting together a family contract establishing boundaries and expectations on both sides. I have found from experience this works well as they invest and feel part of the decision, we both sign it and we get to keep a copy each.

When Sam stays within the agreed boundaries, she gets extra treats, of course Sam will mess up at times and this is part of learning then there will be sanctions like loss of internet or i-pad. I take each day as a new day type attitude so if she messed up today then tomorrow is a new day then perhaps she may try a little harder. 

It’s very important that we spend time together looking at the positives or negatives and talk about what happened.

I already know she loves praise, treats and all of us rejoicing when she has achieved.  We have younger children too and we make sure we spend time with each of them separately and Sam, Hannah and Dan love playing board games, they get very competitive which is great family fun.

Today we went to a fostering event, Hannah and Dan had a great time it’s not always easy finding things they both like.

Going today gave them all the opportunity to express themselves in a safe environment. It’s nice that they met other children who are also in foster care and from going to these types of events they have made friends.

For me, it’s important for foster carers to have opportunities to meet up its nice getting out and having fun with them but I think it’s also about the supportive community of foster carers; that friendship and support is invaluable, and together we can tackle obstacles, or any problems we have difficulty with.

Dan joined in with the seated volley ball, apparently a favourite of Prince Harry, and then the archery, golf and dodge ball. Hannah had her face painted and then went into the dance classes. Both enjoyed the African drumming workshop but I think they all found it quite amusing when I joined in.

Unfortunately Sam didn’t stop complaining about how boring the day was which was quite funny, because while she was having her hair braided she was smiling away but the minute I caught her eye she would change into sulky and this went on throughout the day.

My thoughts are that I really do love being part of those teen conversations: the intense ones and the banter!

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

Fostering Blogs

Teens

Emma’s fostering blog

Teens

Sam hasn’t been with me very long, often I find in the beginning most children are not used to having boundaries or people just caring, they have been hurt, rejected, and neglected.

I know with Sam I need to be calm, firm but fair in attitude with consistent boundaries, and this will take time in building trust on both sides. Today we are putting together a family contract establishing boundaries and expectations on both sides.

I have found from experience this works well as they invest and feel part of the decision, we both sign it and we get to keep a copy each. When Sam stays within the agreed boundaries, she gets extra treats, of course Sam will mess up at times and this is part of learning then there will be sanctions like loss of internet or i-pad.

I take each day as a new day type attitude so if she messed up today then tomorrow is a new day then perhaps she may try a little harder.  It’s very important that we spend time together looking at the positives or negatives and talk about what happened.

I already know she loves praise, treats and all of us rejoicing when she has achieved.  We have younger children too and we make sure we spend time with each of them separately and Sam, Hannah and Dan love playing board games, they get very competitive which is great family fun.

Today we went to a fostering event, Hannah and Dan had a great time it’s not always easy finding things they both like. Going today gave them all the opportunity to express themselves in a safe environment. It’s nice that they met other children who are also in foster care and from going to these types of events they have made friends.

For me, it’s important for foster carers to have opportunities to meet up its nice getting out and having fun with them but I think it’s also about the supportive community of foster carers; that friendship and support is invaluable, and together we can tackle obstacles, or any problems we have difficulty with.

Dan joined in with the seated volley ball, apparently a favourite of Prince Harry, and then the archery, golf and dodge ball. Hannah had her face painted and then went into the dance classes. Both enjoyed the African drumming workshop but I think they all found it quite amusing when I joined in.

Unfortunately Sam didn’t stop complaining about how boring the day was which was quite funny, because while she was having her hair braided she was smiling away but the minute I caught her eye she would change into sulky and this went on throughout the day.

My thoughts are that I really do love being part of those teen conversations: the intense ones and the banter!

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

Fostering Blogs

Special Guardianship

Emma’s fostering blog

SGO

Reading about the state of our social care over the last year it really worries me, I fear we seem to have lost sight of why children are coming into Foster care, how society has changed.

The system is there for children who need protection as they are at risk of abuse, neglect or orphaned. Surely it’s not about penalising families for being poor, being poor doesn’t mean you don’t love your children or have the same aspirations for your child as the next person. 

I find myself wondering why there are such high numbers coming into care, could it be the relentless government cuts over many years to benefits, or the many services that helped so many vulnerable families that have been closed, now we see parents who are working struggling to make ends meet and visiting food banks. How much does it cost to put a child in care, surely in the long run it’s better to support families that are suffering hardship and wherever possible keep children with their own families, with their mums and dads! All children should go back to their families when safe to do so.

I have seen many times the Local Authorities who want carers to take children on Special guardianship orders, although this might be a good outcome for the child, I sometimes wonder if that is the reason for this sudden drive.

It’s a personal choice as I don’t believe anyone should do this under pressure without considering all the facts.

When you ask around there are many different experiences, at support group a carer raised an issue about his Social Worker asking if he would be interested in a Special Guardianship Order.  The carer explained this worried him because this had been brought up a couple of years ago and he was advised by the child’s Independent Reviewing Officer and the previous Social worker it would not be in his best interest as the child has complex health and developmental needs, and he would not get the support he was getting at the time.

Now he was worrying after a conversation with his new worker that if he told them he didn’t want to go this route the child would be moved to someone that would.

Many carers attended and a very good discussion followed; what would the child want, will it be until till 18, the support required including respite, expectations around birth family, means tested yearly, was it counted as income when claiming benefits, guaranteed financial support and would this be to 18 or if a child with complex needs 25.

Consider adoption with financial support and a care plan. Plus sides; you get overall parental responsibility, securing his place in the family, not having changes of workers wanting to change.

My thoughts are as each child is unique, this should be in the best interests of the child, and these points need to be fully discussed as there are many questions to ask and things to consider.

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