Friday, October 18, 2013

I am the new Secret Foster Carer.

Hi, allow me to introduce myself. I am a relatively new foster carer and I confess I am still learning the ropes.

I'm also not particularly experienced in writing, but I enjoyed reading the Secret Foster Carer, and Blue Sky asked me because I mentioned the Secret Foster Carer often when having meetings with my social worker, plus I read a lot. Even when we have a placement, I can't go to sleep without reading a chapter of whatever's on the go.

Like the first Secret Foster Carer, I have to keep my identity hidden for obvious reasons. I have children of my own, plus my other half, "Bill" who has agreed that I can talk about how fostering affects him.

Blue Sky have been very understanding easing us into fostering and they always talk about "matching", which is where they look at your home setup and try to find children to fit it. To be honest we agreed, Bill and I, that if it affected the kids we'd pull out. So far so good. It's always something you can go back to when the kids are either mature or balanced enough or leave home.

We started with respite weekends, the same child three and a half times. What happened the fourth time was that she needed to be got to school and there was nobody else (the foster mother had another child who had to be driven somewhere else that morning) and they didn't think a taxi was an option, so I said yes I'd drive her. I can't remember if I got paid the allowance for it, it was one of those things you'd do to help out. She is a lovely girl.

Our first proper placement was a teenage boy whose placement had broken up, not through any fault of his. The family had a crisis all of their own and he had to be found a new home while they sorted themselves out. His foster mother drove him over to us, and he put a really brave face on it but you could tell he was upset about what was going on. Our social worker warned us that he might be angry, but he never showed it. What happened was he bonded with Bill. Bill likes his football and the boy did too. The boy didn't like his foster dad as much as the foster mum, I think the dad was a bit distant and not very blokey.

One Saturday evening when Match of the Day came on Bill offered him a can of lager (he was old enough), luckily the boy said no thanks. I looked daggers at Bill and later we looked up the rules in the Blue Sky manual. We talked it over with our social worker who said alcohol is basically a no-no even if they are old enough, but agreed that being offered helped the boy somehow feel like he was becoming an adult.

The boy's permanent foster carers came and collected him after their home situation was sorted out, and to the best of our knowledge he's doing fine.

We find you never forget a single thing about any of the children who come in and share your home and family life.

The Secret Foster Carer


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