Helen’s Fostering Blog
We received our first referral about two children whilst we were away on holiday.
My husband and I had always agreed that as lovely as babies are we felt school age children would fit into ours and Libby’s lives better. So when the first referral came through about a 1 year old boy and 11 year old girl we learnt our first lesson about fostering and that is you will get contacted about children who don’t match what you had spent months expressing you thoughts and feelings about what was right for you and your family.
I remember it felt difficult reading their story and how instinctively my desire was to just say “yes” put us forward for these two children, but I knew it wasn’t right. If we were going to do this we needed to learn to rule with our heads not our hearts and stick to what we had thought long and hard about.
We had a few other referrals over the next few weeks, some of which felt right for so many reasons and wrong for others. We did need to think about the location of the children’s family, I recall one set of children who lived very close-by, whilst this was a plus as the children could stay at their school that was down the road from us, but raised concerns about whether or not they would migrate home. Then there was other children who lived too far away but would be remaining at their school and I personally didn’t feel it fair to expect young children to spend so much time travelling to and from school each day.
Next came a referral for 2 boys that George and I just didn’t feel ready to be able to care for due to their needs. Whatever our reasons were for not asking to be put forward for these children I can assure you the decisions were never taken lightly and it was so hard to say no! We just kept the faith that our decisions were right not just for us but for the children also.
Finally we had a referral for two children that seemed perfect for us. Funnily the little girl had the same name as my step-daughter.
We had a meeting with our Supporting Social Worker, the children’s Social Worker and her Manager. What we were unaware of at the time was that this was the start of a matching process, which normally is done after the children have been living with you for over a year.
There was a lot of waiting in-between the various meetings, but we were becoming very invested in these two children.
A couple of weeks in there was another set of 2 girls this time that also seemed right for our family. So, meetings were arranged for them also.
Needless to say neither of these two sets of children were placed with us, but I still remember their names and think of them from time to time and hope they are doing well wherever they have ended up.
Helen – A Blogging Foster Carer