Meeting with previous foster carers coming up any advice?

(32 Posts)
Ladyofthehouse Tue 12-Feb-13 14:03:03

Hi,

Our DD's (1.11 and 2. 10) have been with us for around 4 months and settled in really well.

The eldest has been quite unsettled and we've had a lot of behavioural issues but she just seems to be calming down so want to try and be as prepared as we can be.

We're now due to meet up with their previous foster carers (whole family) and feeling really nervous. Has anyone else done this? Did you prepare your children in any way?

Lilka Sun 17-Feb-13 21:14:45

Oh good glad it went well smile

Enjoy your wine!

Maryz Sun 17-Feb-13 21:08:29

That is excellent - it sounds as though they are really settling well smile.

I do feel for foster families, it must be so tough. But that is, in truth, the job they have chosen to do and obviously the better they do it the better the outcome for the children, even if it does leave the families mourning their loss for a while.

If that makes sense confused.

Piffyonarock Sun 17-Feb-13 20:54:51

That's great! Well done all of you. Enjoy that wine x

Happiestinwellybobs Sun 17-Feb-13 20:46:35

Excellent news smile

Fab.

Ladyofthehouse Sun 17-Feb-13 19:37:59

I wanted to update you all as you have all been so supportive!

Well, I am completely in awe or our little girls! They just took it all in their stride. They got excited when they saw them, gave them a cuddle but then came back us for a cuddle.

They didn't even seem to refer to them as mummy and daddy and we all called them by their names.

I was worried about when it would be time to go but again they gave them hugs and kisses then came back and she held my hand and said "nanny" as we'd said we were going there for tea.

I know there might be feelings that might emerge later on, but we're both just so pleased that they clearly see us as their mummy and daddy - and seem to feel secure.

Phew - large glasses of wine tonight!!!

Maryz Sun 17-Feb-13 10:54:13

Good luck lady, I hope you get through it ok smile

I suggest bribes on the way home (vast quantities of really messy chocolate).

Ladyofthehouse Sun 17-Feb-13 09:28:27

We just showed our DD's the photo of their FC's and our eldest pointed straight at it and said "mummy, daddy" - she then said "shoes" so is keen to go.

This is going to be such a confusing day!

goshua Sat 16-Feb-13 02:36:39

Our latest terrable two's is meeting forever Mum and Dad next week, is well full of life , very attatched and independent dispite a bad start in life.
Feel sure they are a great match and will great parents. Will be missed

goshua Sat 16-Feb-13 00:35:48

Forgot to mention Post Traumatic stress 0 too 6 months, some baby's that come into care, may have had difficult times Neo Natal care, alcohol and drugs
neglect etc. Their 1st attatchment usual the fosterparent from experience they settle pretty fast, 2nd attatchments will be slower, hence the advice too
use their old cloths , sheets, toys familier thing's etc., incuding contact on occasion's. Best too take things slow. PTS can come in many forms later in life
attachment disorders, SID's , Executive functioning etc.
This one reason every childs post adoption reqirement is different best too be open minded. Things will settle. Taking it easy will help the child who will feel
this in you in turn and prevent secondary problems.

Piffyonarock Sat 16-Feb-13 00:16:31

We were advised with both our adoptions that we should meet with the FCs a few weeks after our LOs moved in, so that they could see that they hadn't just disappeared. After that, it was up to us whether to continue contact or not.

In both cases the FCs visited us briefly at our home. The first visit unsettled both the LOs, the elder one especially, but we felt that they would benefit from knowing the people who had first looked after them in the long run, so with the FCs agreement, we had further brief visits at our home and once we felt the LOs were relaxed with that, we also had occasional short visits to their homes.

It was quite nerve wracking to start with, we feared that we would undo all the bonding we had done and with DD we pulled back for a while as she was finding it distressing. In hindsight we took her back to her foster home too soon. It has all come good now though and both the LOs seem to clearly understand that they used to live with the FCs but now they are with us forever.

Now both FC families are like extended families and we attend one anothers children's birthday parties etc. We probably see each family approx four times a year. We think it has been right for our circumstances, both LOs had been with the same FC from birth. Also, we hit it off quite well with both families and they are both fairly local which helped. We felt no pressure from them and both the LOs enjoy visiting with them now and are relaxed about saying goodbye at home time. We knew DD was settled with us when she got tired at a visit to her FC house and she said she wanted to go home and headed for the door.

In answer to the original OP, we told the children that the FCs would be visiting to see how they were on the day that they were coming. DS was only approx 1 year old at the time and was distressed when they first arrived but was relaxed when they went. DD was 2 and was very pleased to see her FCs but very distressed when they left and talked about them a lot. We found after that, for a while, she would talk about them more and more, like her anxiety was building, but that a visit cleared it for her for a while- think she was reassured when she saw them.

goshua Fri 15-Feb-13 23:59:36

There is no statutary regulations, but every adoption is different , depends
probable on age of child and formed attatchments, as introduction's for example , our logs we have too keep go upto 6 weeks, not that we have experienced this. some children we have had', have had multiple placements
infrequent visits by FC may in some cases will reasure child and help them feel more secure., preventing secondary problems later on such as attatchment disorders.
Have had some children who have experienced in excess of 30 placements some even more, placements could mean being looked after by friends, extended family, occasional aquaintance, foster care, etc. Unfortunatly new
mum's will not know this, as social workers often in same situation.
Think every child's requirement is different, We have our own way , feel it's best too work in a supportive roll , that encompases all situations.

Ladyofthehouse Fri 15-Feb-13 20:52:16

Maryz and Devora, you have said everything me and DH have been saying! And it is definitely happening because the FC thinks she is entitled to it. She actually wanted to come and visit here but we said no to that and said it had to be somewhere neutral

SW's have said that it is in the interest of the children to show them that people don't just disappear from their lives - but our eldest has been moved so many times it seems a bit late for that! But to be honest DC's SW hasn't even got in touch with any advice and we rarely hear from her.

goshua I wish you had been our girls FC! You sound amazing!

Maryz Fri 15-Feb-13 15:13:04

This all seems to me to be mad - wait until the child is settled with new parents, and just as they are settled go and visit "old parents". I would have thought the child would immediately think they were going back, if they are of an age where they are too young to understand adoption properly.

I mean, surely it's fine for, say 5 year olds and up, but pointless for 1 to 3 year olds?

Who is it for the benefit of? The foster carers or the children?

Devora Fri 15-Feb-13 00:16:06

There seems lots of confusion here about what is considered good practice. I'm confused myself. In our case, the FC certainly felt she was 'entitled' to a visit at six weeks and kicked up a terrible stink when I asked if it could wait awhile. dd was barely 11 months old and I thought it would be terribly confusing to her, and as she was pre-verbal I couldn't explain to her. I thought then that six months would be a good stage, but the FC then refused. Throughout, I kept asking the SWs what I should do, and they kept saying there is no standard practice and I should do what I thought right.

I had no idea what was right! It seems obvious to me that it is usually helpful for an older child to meet with fc about six weeks after placement. I'm not sure I understand quite how it works for pre-verbal children.

goshua Thu 14-Feb-13 23:58:25

Fosterd many adopted children over the years, we prefer letterbox or mail new's only, this is our personal preference , if there is a need in the interest of the chid too accomodate contact this is OK with us, stilll have contact via Mail with children after 15 years. Been too many Adoption celebrations , adoptive parents keep in contact let us know how things are going, we are at the end of the phone if they need any help or advice.
We feel Mum knows the child best, and encourge and build on this.

Kewcumber Thu 14-Feb-13 15:34:03

Foster carers not an issue here as DS came from an institution but at 3 he would have felt very unsettled by anyone appearing to threaten my status as "mother". He would absolutely have needed to be prepared - lots of emphasis on how we're meeting them becuase they were so kind to him that it will be lovely to see how much he loves being part of our family, also plenty of talk of what you're going to do together AFTER meeting FC's ie lots of positive reinforcement about life continuing as normal.

Sometimes whats obvious to an adult ie that they are coming home with you afterwards isn;t at all obvious to a pre-school child!

Start calling their FC's by their first name NOW and call them by their first name when you see them.

DS had speech delays around the same age but looking back on it had a very good idea what was going on so I think you need to work on the basis that your DD understands more than you think just can;t articulate it - DS was barely understandable even to me at 3yrs.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 14-Feb-13 07:15:40

We were told by our LA that the FC are "entitled" to a visit no sooner than 8 weeks after DC move in, exact timing depending on how well the settling in is going. After that it is up to the parents whether to maintain contact of any sort, but the LA would never recommend returning to the FC house.

We are about to do ours in about 2 weeks, and we are a bit nervous as well. Friends of ours who have been through this have said that meeting on mutual ground can work - like a park or something, as opposed to the house, but I think that will depend on the child. Best of luck

gallivantsaregood Wed 13-Feb-13 19:20:58

It's different for us as lo us coming to us on a permanent fostering basis. As he is so young it is adoption really, in everything but name. He will be our son and will be a member of our family forever...... Sorry if I caused any confusion. :-D

Ladyofthehouse Wed 13-Feb-13 19:07:07

We were just told to text the evening we brought them home to say all okay, then to email a bit more detail a week later and then after 12 weeks to meet up. Our FC specified it just before handover. We'll also be writing to her.

I've no problem at all with keeping in touch - my only concern is meeting up and especially with the other children there. She was also called 'mummy' so it's going to need an explanation of how she was just a temporary mummy...but obviously I'm not. Just seems a lot for a 2 year old to take in!!

Happiestinwellybobs Wed 13-Feb-13 15:34:58

I didn't realise LA's gave any advice on this - we certainly weren't told anything about contact with FC, but want to remain in contact as they're lovely and had had DD since birth.

Ladyofthehouse Wed 13-Feb-13 13:51:30

Thanks for all the replies. The purpose is to show the children that people don't just disappear from their lives.

It will be the FC and her husband, 3 children and new child they are fostering. We are meeting in a neutral place.

We're happy to stay in touch and have sent them photos of the girls and cards etc. It was meant to be a few weeks ago but FC asked to postpone it.

It's good to hear others have the same worries out there! I think I'll look to talk to her just before we go to visit - will let everyone know how it goes!

gallivantsaregood Wed 13-Feb-13 11:25:02

Sorry for all the typos......

gallivantsaregood Wed 13-Feb-13 11:24:30

We are just about to meet our LO who will be coming home very soon. We have been advised that certainly in the short term reintroducing FC is not to be advised.we can txt/email to Lethem know hier LO settles etc and we can do birthday/Christmas cards etc.

I feel really sad for FC as they gave cared fir LO since birth :-(

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