View Full Version : thoughts on fostering short time
Hi there ladies. great this forum was started!
Little bit of back ground for you. Im 30, mum to 5 and 4 yrs old girls. Split from the girls dad back in Jan this year. Ive wanted to do fostering for some time now but was not something he was interested in. Fair enough. Ive started studying to get my cert 3 in dissability work and through that have found out there are a LOT of kids with a disability who need fostering. As my girls are so young and "impressionable" my thoughts at this stage is to do babies, as they wont pic up their "bad habbits". Ive even gone so far as to enquire if I can even stipulate that I have only babies and there response was amazing. There are currently 8 babies up at the g/c hosp who can not be released as they have no where to go. They would prefer them to be homed for 12 months rather than be up there, or in a hotel room or community housing. So I guess my question is in my mind they are not my kids so would I be able to give them up in 12 months or so? I know it will be heart breaking but is it not better that they have a lovely start in life than not much of a start at all?? And as this pays very well I will not have to work full time, just 5-10 hr p/w, for my own sanity lol, I will be able to give them so much love and attention. Has anyone done this and given the kids up willingly after a certian amount of time??
Reading your post reduced me to tears.
As the parent of a disabled child, who would have had nowhere to go if we hadn't taken the three of them on, I give you my thanks on behalf of disabled and abandoned children everywhere, and I really, really, really admire you for what you are doing.
I can't tell you anything about giving them back. We have ours through the Magellen Court, and no-one will ever get to take them away, I swear.
All I can tell you is that disabled children are hard work, exhausting, emotionally draining, frustrating, heartbreaking, and the most rewarding thing in the world. At least, that is how we see it. Our little man is the most incredible ray of sunshine and the joy of our lives and I could not be any more 'in love' with him if I'd given birth to him myself.
There are zillions of visits to hospitals and therapists and all the other things that go with it. Should you start on this path, you'll find me in here or on Special Needs - feel free to ask for any advice at any time.
I would find it really hard to give them up at the end of 12 months, but then, if they were going to a long term foster home or adoption, then I would wave them off with tears of happiness as well as sadness.
If I had to hand them back to abusive cretins, I'd be heartbroken.
I think, as you say, that 12 months of the best possible start is better than no start at all.
I can't begin to tell you how this has made my day brighter, knowing there are people like you in it.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
Thank you sooo much:o I actually though I was going to get negative feed back, I cant tell you what a relief it was to read your reply!
The main reason I feel the need to put a time limit on it is I have no idea where ill be in my life in 12-18 months time. I think im sorting so much stuff out but feel as though im getting no where fast, if that at all makes sense.
Can I ask what sort of disability your lil guy has? He is extremely lucky to have you in his life.
Thanx again, michelle
I reiterate, do not read this post if you are unable to deal with child abuse stories. Scroll down for the post.
One of Australia's more high profile child abuse cases was known as the Toddler Torture Case. The 2yo involved was tortured, abused and repeatedly beaten and flung against a wall over a six month period.
The child involved was my 2yo (now four and half) nephew, and my partner and I were granted custody in the Magellen Court of both him and his two sisters (my brother's children.) His mother and her then partner are both serving long sentences in jail.
So, our little man has right side paralysis, visual impairment, intellectual impairment, speech impairment, and has a titanium plate in his skull and a VP shunt to drain fluid from the 'empty' portions of his brain which were removed due to irreparable damage.
He is also loving, and funny, and smart, and adorable, the light of our lives, and has no memory of any abuse, trauma, or anything other than being loved to within an inch of his life, :D
There are children like this in need of foster homes. No one wants them because they are disabled and there is a good chance you will be fostering kids this badly injured or neglected. As I said before, I really do admire you and thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Its incredibly hard work, tiring, frustrating, time consuming and heartbreaking. But it is also the biggest reward when you get a huge hug and a kiss and an "I lub you Mimi"... the best part of my day.
I dont know what to say. shocking just absolutly shocking. I hope and pray the "parents" NEVER get released from jail.
Athough I admire your decision, and I take my hat off to you, please consider the following:
- by fostering you will be dealing with birth parents
- by fostering you will be dealing with government departments (highly frustrating)
- by fostering you will be dealing with the court system (almost as frustrating as the gov't dept)
- you will not have a say in when they leave you, if either the court or gov't dept move them on
- they may show excessive signs of distress, behaviours etc before, during and after seeing their birth parents
- the money that you recieve is actually for the child. Especially if you have a child with special needs, that money will not go far at all. Please consider that you will need to pay for clothing, food, shelter, some education, some medical, transport etc. You will be expected to pay for the day to day expenses of that child in your care - that is what the care allowances are for. I would definately ask to have a look at the financial guidelines of the child protection department of your state, so that you are well aware of what you must pay for.
- ultimately, if you can only provide 12 months of care for this child, please be aware that the older they get, the harder it is to place a child. Again, it is more difficult with a child with special needs. The time lag in finding a safe and appropriate place for that child may take quite a length of time
- you will have very little say in what happens with the children, such as schooling, medical and guardianship
- it is extremely rewarding, but also very heartbreaking.
I hate to rain on your parade, but for the sake of all involved, please consider carefully the above points. I wish you luck, and hope that you come to the right decision for you and your girls.
Thanx cassvanm for your input. You are certainly not raining on my parade as I have totally considered all the points you listed there. Its not something I will be entering into lightly and aprecieate a wide spectrum of opinions. Alot of those points I have already ruled out as im not looking at fostering school aged children, only babies like I stated. I also totaly understand that the money recieved is in the care and interest of the child, nappies, formula, medical (although the majority of medical is covered) so please dont think im doing this to go out and buy myself a new wordrobe! I have savings in the bank and am able to afford to look after myself quite comfortably. In stating that I was refering to the time and effort I would be allocating to help the child instead of putting into daycare.
I am now fostering children and i have to say it is a lot of work my own children are of similar ages and they tend to be left behind a little. My foster kids are very time/attention demanding and again my children who are happy and know they are loved will be left out a little. i try very hard to not do this but when you have one child who is happily doing something and another calling you/needing help/ talking to you you tend to leave the content child and see what other child wants. it is hard work to keep up attention each child needs.
another thing is with a disabled child there is quite often many medical appointment and hospital stays, are you able to cover all of those on your own?
i am not trying to talk you out of it, Fostering can be great and i love my foster kids so much, but it can be difficult and on your own is just a little harder.
:iagree:I have to agree with post by Cassvanm. You need to put your heart somewhere I fostered one little girl for over 10yrs she wanted to see what it was like with other foster families THE Department says they can go where they want.once they are 12. Two foster families in 5 weeks both shocking limited food, treated differently than biological children, told she was old enough to look after herself when she asked for help and lots more dont worry all written down BUT now with a lovley young couple that have a little boy and a girl around her age of their own,not far away and they ALL come to visit, she sounds happy, we were a bit too old for her and maybe I can understand it in a way..:shakehands::wave:
my Husband and I have been fostering for 16 years and still find it hard to say good bye to most of our foster children
Quite often a child with a disability is in care because the parents are unable to cope and although the initial placement is supposed to be short term if the child is happy and settled then it could then be longer term.
The foster child may have no contact with its parents
or it may have contact several times a week. Most parents a very nice but you can come across some who will resent you for coping:)
We have found fostering to be fun rewarding and also quite challenging I am sure that you will too.
Good luck and keep us all up to date
my DH and I have been fostering for 18months, we have provided care for children 0-5years old, majority indigenous or mixed race. Some have had foetal alcohol syndrome, some sexually abused, some severly malnurished and a multitude of other awful issues.
Please keep in mind that time-frames set either by you or child safety are rarely stuck to. It is very difficult to find appropriate placements for any child, let alone a disabled child. So be prepared to have them for an unknown amount of time - days when you thought it would be months, years when you thought it would be days! It is wise to take a child with an open mind about how long you will care for them.
Good on you though and i admire you for even considering fostering, we need so many more good people to help us broaden the pool of good, loving, kind, patient and safe carers.
Gosh. I look forward to reading this thread as more people post their experiences. I would dearly dearly love to foster children and give them a loving warm home, but I dont know how I would cope with the fact that they can be removed at any time and also given back to parents who may have abused them, etc.
I think that would be more than I could take.
How do you cope with them being taken away? What if you had a child from a very young age and then after a few years he/she had to go back to their parents whom they were originally taken from? To me, they would have become my child, how do you separate yourself from that? All those questions make me think that I wouldnt be able to do it. I think I would much rather adopt them and give them a PERMANENT home....
I'm just wondering if you looked any further
into fostering. Was there a happy outcome?
We were approved as foster carers in June this year. Before we were approved we got the call that there was a baby who needed emergency care for up to 2 weeks and he'd be coming the day after approval.
He's been here for 3 months.
We love him to bits and it is not fully sinking in that he will have to go back to his Mum within another 3 months. My children are extremely close to this baby. My husband and I cannot bear the thought that he is going back to a bad situation where he was neglected and exposed to drugs.
In becoming a foster carer you -
* Have no say about the child. From whether to give panadol for a fever, to who attends a doctors appointment.
* Have to deal with your agency, be it government or private. This is not easy. There's a huge amount of miscommunication and nobody knows the roles of each other.
* When fostering a child you are also fostering the relationship between the child and the birth family. Not easy if you don't agree with abusive or neglectful parents.
* Your life, your feelings and even posting something like this on a forum are constantly under a microscope. You can be the most honest, loving and amazing carer in the world and your agency will still doubt you.
* Special needs or unwell children cost a fortune. I'm in deficit every fortnight when my foster care payment comes in. I spend way more than I am reimbursed for.
Without my partner I could not foster while I have children at home. My foster child has contact 2-3 times a week and I have to take my kids with me if they're sick OR find alternate care as my foster child's contact with his biological Mum must go ahead. It will often be cancelled at the last minute when I've already made other plans or changed to another time with no notice.
My foster child is ill most of the time. In fact he has not been well in the 3 months since he arrived. He spends time in casualty and if my partner is not home I have to take my kids along. He also has at least 3 medical appointments per week which in public hospital outpatients department can take around 4 hours. I'm often late when picking my kids up from school and it can get difficult when I take them along. Recently I was asked to leave my bio son in the waiting room alone as the doctor was discussing confidential information about my foster child.
Despite all of this I wouldn't change a thing. I have a huge amount of support from my partner and we're in this together. We have a massive network of friends who are readily available to lend a hand when needed. Mind you with a foster child who has special needs this can wear thin pretty quickly as I found myself asking for help daily in the beginning.
It's an amazing thing to do. I know I've changed this little one's life, even just for now. I will go to pieces when he goes home to his Mum and I know my kids will too. But I feel that this is the biggest and best thing we've ever done and despite everything I look forward to having a home full of Children and Grandchildren - both bio and fostered/adopted.
I just wanted to say having direct contact with the birth parents of the child is not always the case. I know friends who foster who have never seen sight of the birth parents and aren't involved in the access process with the parents. The fostering agency picks the child up from their home and takes the child themselves.
I say this because DH and I have been thinking about fostering children for quite sometime however, the thought of introducing what could essentially be an underdesirable birth parent into our home and lives was something we couldn't move past due to the possible risk to our family. Since finding out that we don't have to have any direct contact with the family we are investigating further our fostering options
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