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Fostering Uncertainties

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We heard today that James’ (name changed) Mum’s rehab won’t be starting until after Christmas and that James will be with me until she completes it, which should be in mid to late February. Obviously I am delighted about this but was wondering how to tell James.

I didn’t want to tell him in a triumphant way as I am basically telling him that he won’t be home with his Mum for Christmas. So I opted for the quieter more reserved way, which I considered more appropriate. James got home from school about 4:15 and I said to him about Mum and her rehab. He answered that he was sad but also looking forward to Christmas and not having about Mum or her friends or drugs.

I told him that I was sure that his Social Worker would organise a time for him to go and visit Mum if that is what he would want, he said he would think about that.

It’s unusual, in Fostering, to be able to plan ahead like I can now do with James. Foster carers, in the main, understand that their ‘work’ can be unpredictable and that planning too far ahead can be a dangerous thing to do.

I can think of many occasions where I’ve thought that a placement is going to be long term and then it has ended quickly or the opposite where you think a placement will be short term and 3 years later? That’s the problem with Fostering, the uncertainty.

In a ‘normal’ job you know you work 9-5, five days a week, for as long as you want or your employer wants. You know that once a month you will receive a wage and you then know what household bills and expenses you have to pay and how much you can save. With Fostering that can be difficult. You could be empty for a month so how do you then earn a wage?

It can be very difficult. It’s always good to have another income source, if you can. I have been employed as a Care Worker and a Support Worker so that if I am empty, which isn’t very often, then I have work, and money, to fall back on. Plus the training you get, for free, with the larger care companies, is very beneficial and relevant to Foster care. That’s where zero hours contracts can come in very handy as you can dip in and out of work whenever you want to.

James got home from school in a very good mood. I asked him if there was any particular reason and he said no, he was just happy and he can focus on nice things for a change.

We talked about Christmas and I said that we were still very much in limbo as to what we could do, due to the virus.

It would be nice to spend it with family but that may not be possible. He was quite accepting of that and said that it wouldn’t really matter as he was away from the madness, at home, which came every Christmas.

A Simply Fostering Blogging Foster Carer.