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

Big Ben

Emma’s fostering blog

Big Ben

When Dan first came to us we soon learned that he hadn’t had any experiences of life outside where he came from. 

He was so Inquisitive, he was like a toddler asking how this and that worked, he was 9 years old. We knew he needed to have the same opportunities as his peers and we needed to focus on fun, enjoyment and active participation.

This little boy had many interests and so it helped to plan things we knew he would be interested in. We also wanted to record the days out, activities and clubs that we were going to set up for him, so he could build on his self-esteem and see his achievements.

On a trip to London, he was excited because we became tourists for the day, he liked looking at the stars, so we took him to the London planetarium, he thought it amazing.  We went to see the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham palace and he watched the changing of the guards. Dan was fascinated looking at Big Ben he had so many questions.

We took lots of great photos for his memory book and he learned about the Queen and others in the royal family and who the Prime Minister was. Then we went over on the ferry to France for the day, as a Carer this was incredibly rewarding to be part of his excitement and it transferred to me.

By sheer chance I found out you can actually have a tour inside Big Ben by writing to your local MP so I did and we had to have a security check first, but eventually we were given a date to visit Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower.

We didn’t tell Dan as we wanted it to be a surprise; we just told him we were going to London again, what a brilliant thing for him to do, such an experience.

First he had to climb 334 steps to the belfry; he had so much energy he seemed to reach the top without any effort.  When he got to the top it was really great to see his face beaming with delight as he saw the workings of the clock, the giant light bulbs that light the face of the clock, and he learned how they use old pennies on the mechanism for correcting the balance of time.

On Mondays at School they tell their news, the Teacher actually pulled me aside and she told me she can’t wait to hear on Monday’s what Dan has been up to, as he does so many great things and experiences. It was the icing on the cake for me hearing that he can’t wait to tell his news.

My thoughts are new experiences enable children to learn one of the most important lessons of early life: learning how to learn, and learning that mastery brings joy and a sense of achievement.

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

Fostering Blogs

The wrong crowd

Emma’s fostering Blog

The wrong crowd

Sophie came to us at 8 she was polite, courteous and eager to please, sometimes she was reluctant to think for herself, she needed additional boundaries to keep her focused.

She was happy and a pleasure to be with, until she started hanging out with a particular group when she started secondary school, she had nice friends but they seemed to disappear and now she was with a new group of seemingly not so nice friends….

It’s been quite a journey over the last couple of years and as a Foster carer I have in some way felt that I must have let her down, perhaps I missed something, I don’t know. It just started out of the blue when she was 13, as if she went to bed and actually changed overnight, at first lots of small issues mainly lying, then coming home later, then not coming home at all.

It seemed I was forever ringing duty to report her missing and the endless visits from the police.  At home she seemed to be distancing herself from us by spending lots of time alone in her bedroom.  At times there was a musky smell from her and so I suspected she was doing drugs.

Casually I discussed the pros and cons of using marijuana as a teen but it just carried on, so I had to get help because Items started going missing in her room; nice things that eventually I found out were being sold to fund her addiction to cannabis.

How she has changed, being verbally aggressive and intimidating towards me and a teacher at School, this followed by months of truanting which has led to her being put in a pupil referral unit due to extreme behavioural problems.  Sophie has such low self-esteem, and she finds it hard to fit in as she never feels good enough and my heart sinks every time.  She is now getting professional help.

Her teacher told me that Sophie has a lot of potential and had recently demonstrated some good skills, and is capable of making good progress, but she does not maintain acceptable standards of behaviour, and this has had an adverse effect upon her learning. She can be selective about what lessons she works well in and is sometimes reluctant to try new challenges, and this reflects only on her confidence and behaviour and not her ability.

If only Sophie would focus on her behaviour and achievement as she has tremendous potential. We have put in really strong boundaries to help her but it’s up to her to want to achieve this.

My thoughts are I am still hanging in there, one day at a time, small goals and all the time looking to celebrate any small achievement, working on the good relationship we once had. I know it’s going to be a long journey…

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

Fostering Blogs

Testing times

Emma’s fostering blog

Testing time

It’s been a strange year as Adam is having therapy and his behaviour has been so difficult.

As I collected Adam from School the teacher came out she stated that Adam appeared to be in a bad mood, he was asked four times to do something but ignored the teacher and at lunch time Mrs Jay was sat at the same table and heard Adam call her a bitch he was saying that school would be a better place without her.

Whilst this same teacher was eating her lunch he stared at her all through lunch which felt very uncomfortable for her.

I have noticed recently that the stare is back, it is an awful stare; when he was in primary school he didn’t have friends because it scared them and sadly children used to say it was evil. He was told off a few times at the beach for putting his hands in his shorts in public and it now felt as if his behaviour was getting worse each day.

One morning I saw a poem on the floor in his room, as if he left it there for me to see. It was very crude, rude and offensive, I wondered if he had left this here on purpose, but also thought that it is not unusual for teenagers to look for, discuss and laugh about such sexual material. I knew I had to be careful in how I address this with Adam and would avoid the thoughts about it being derogatory towards women.

I felt that keeping such issues small and not inflating them was important as the bigger the drama we make the more the shame and guilt Adam would feel and the less he will be able to make sense of and process whatever message I want to give. I let Adam know that I found the poem and that I felt it was offensive and not funny and that in future I don’t want to see anything else like this lying about in his room.

In the pool on a weekend break he kept trying to cuddle younger children picking them up and throwing them, he was told about this but he just continued. One of us had to continually monitor these sessions to ensure safety. 

The Site owners at the main camp asked Adam to be quieter as he was so very loud all the time, perhaps 300 people at the pool, but all you could hear was Adam. People were getting annoyed with him as he was rushing around the pool and it seemed the more people looked the more he seemed to enjoy the attention.

My thoughts are by making small allowances, in view of what you know, you can make a big difference to a child’s life. By them expressing thoughts, feelings, and understanding about their experiences this leads to behaviour changes, especially during therapy.

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