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fao shons

Hi, i hope you and you're lo are well!

I was just wondering if you could give me some advice really, as i know you were fostering before your lo came along.

Basically i've become really interested in fostering as a way of staying at home full time and looking after my lo and being able to care for other children. I'm from a massive family so i'm not inexperienced in looking after children, and i think it's something me and my hubby would really enjoy.

I was just wondering what your experience with it all was, and also whether i'm likely to be considered since we have a 4/5 month old at home.

Any advice would be really appreciated image

Replies

  • Hi,

    I hope I don't put you off as we are more than a little dis-illusioned with the whole thing right now.

    You need to be VERY sure this is what you want to do and have a good support system around you. The application process is extremely intrusive and will ask you a lot of personal questions that frankly, you will wonder why they are asking! This process will take six months or more and you will also be expected to attend preparation classes (can take up to 8 weeks for this).

    When/if you get to this point, you will be matched with a child/ren. We were told that if you have a baby, any foster child has to be at least two years older.

    I have a really mixed experience. I was a childrens nurse before fostering so I was very familiar with the system and who I was likely to come across (I was a specialist foster carer which means I looked after children with special needs). You have to be prepared to really fight for any services etc. a child might need as you are not often told what is available.

    Our wee man was with us for four years and there were lots of ups and downs. Having him was the easy part, it's everybody else you have to deal with that is difficult ie. social workers, teachers, psychologists.....the list goes on!

    It's hard to go into here but, something you have to be EXTREMELY aware of is that a vast majority of kids in care will make an allegation against their foster carer. You need to be prepared for this which is not easy. You also may have little or no background information about the child which you will need to consider when you have a baby.

    I hope this is not sounding all doom and gloom. The best bit for me was seeing the wee boy we had really blossom and gaining confidence and self esteem by the day. He had a pretty horrendous background so seeing him slowly gain our trust and open up was very worthwhile.

    I hope this is helpful, you can email me if you want at any time to ask questions. I might sound quite negative about it but there were lots of positives too!

    xxx
  • Hiya,

    Thanks for your views. It's what i wanted to hear to be honest, because alot of the literature out there doesn't give you a proper balanced view of what it will be like.

    I'm lucky i guess that most of my family are involved in care, mainly with learning difficultites/various disabilities, so i'm surrounded by that sort of culture of looking after children and young people, both the good and bad sides, although that is mainly in residential and supported living, so i'm aware it would be different bringing them into our home, especially like you say, with very little information about their background, my main concern would be for my lo and his safety.

    I do think it's something that i would really like to try, although not right at the moment as i'm aware we don't have enough space in our current house, i would just like to be ready to go into it when we move.

    Thankyou for your help and shedding more light on it image
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