Thursday, September 30, 2021


 In fostering little things happen all the time, some of them not good. Even though they're little the not so good things can get to you if you're not on top of your own thinking.

Life is tiring, fostering can be especially tiring. When tired it hurts more if a child is spiky, you notice negative things more easily. You can also completely miss some positives.

We had our Annual Review earlier today, it's where Blue Sky fostering folk get to be quizzed by an independent bod on how things are going. They aren't on your case, if there's any case being made t's that they're kind of on your side. I've always found them helpful.

Today they got my partner and I remembering positives we'd actually missed, even though we were there at the time.

We ended up talking about something that happened quite recently and we hadn't given it enough celebration; It was this;

Our middle foster child is a permanent; never going home. Poor kid is pretty much alone in the world and as such has always been hostile to the whole notion of family and parents. Child has been with us long enough to know what our family is like, namely we're all in it together but a bit splintered at the outer edges - like most if not all families. We've got relatives here there and everwhere, some are close geographically and emotionally, some are far off in every way.

The child has been with us long enough to have got to know almost all of them a bit.

So then, a few days before our review the child blurted out of nowhere;

"Wouldn't it be great if everyone could be together here for Christmas; the whole family?"

I can remember thinking at the time;

"Nice idea soldier, but that ain't never gonna happen."

The child's remark came up at the Review and we dwelt on it. It was a huge remark, but had seemed little at the time.

It was huge for reasons which became obvious once they were spelled back at us. The child had identified themself as family.

Our family. Choild now accepts that WE are their real family.

See, usually fostering is about getting the child back to their real family. That's the normal job. But it's often the case that the child will never go back because the home has either disappeared or will never be safe. The child's placement in fostering becomes 'permanent'. It's a challenging notion for all involved. But our kid has done it.

None of us had any idea when the corner was turned, we probably never will as the child is a private individual and we respect that right. So, us and the Review bod, we moved the conversation on to how important it is for people in fostering to be on the lookout for things to celebrate, not just being alert to things that want fixing.

Probably a good maxim for life in general, not just fostering...


  1. Oh that is so heartwarming! All kids need a family, sometimes ours end up with more than one.

    Our long term placement call me Mum and my husband Dad. It's privilege we never take for granted.
    Birth Dad hadn't really been on the scene even before the kids came into care, and somewhere over the years "my real dad" flipped from being birth dad to being my other half. After a few confusing conversations kiddo explained I mean you (pointing at my husband) you're my real dad, because you're here doing the real dad stuff.

    And kiddo wasn't wrong - he is here, every day, doing the job - like being their personal taxi service, dishing out extra pocket money, helping them with homework, catching that spider under the sofa, scowling and saying "is that a skirt or a belt?", chasing them with the hose pipe in the summer. You know, all that proper Dad stuff.

  2. Still to come; the bank of mum and dad…kiddo goes to Costa Brava with pals…maybe even kiddo asks you what you'd like to be called now you're about to become grandparents…in fostering you just never know