Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Children who wait

I've just had the return call about one of the girls I had enquired about. They are looking for a couple, and any children in the family must be several years older.

I wondered if this was the case.

This little girl has been featured for a long time. Initially it was with her younger sister, and later on, on her own. Her profile disappeared for a while, and has just been put back up on the site. All of this made me think the poor little thing probably has some very serious issues. The social worker confirmed this, and said a single person would not be able to cope as they would be lacking that someone else to hand over to when things got really tough.

It makes me so sad to think what this little girl must have been through in the short time she was with her birth family. My heart goes out to her and all the other children who have suffered/are suffering from abuse of any kind.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Ah well, start again

Anyone who checks my blog has probably already guessed that things didn't go too well with the meeting.

My link worker was great and got here almost an hour before the children's social workers to reassure me, talk me through possible questions etc. I had a list of questions I wanted to ask and lots of other info ready to prove I could be a good match for these children. I didn't have the children's information; we found out at the start of the meeting that this should have been sent, but neither I nor my agency had received it, so I still don't know the full facts about the children.

The social workers seemed to have decided from the start that I was not what they were looking for. They were concerned that a single person with a young child would not be able to manage with these children, and would not be able to give them what they needed. The family finder kept saying that the reason they had come to see me was not based on my homestudy but on the commitment I had shown in calling for regular updates. Fat lot of good that did! My link worker did a fab job, and at one point it did seem like we had convinced the social workers otherwise. They stayed longer than expected, and even talked through the financial aspects with my link worker, but looking back now it does all seem like a big waste of time.

I was given a date at the end of the month for feedback but ended up calling two days later as I was so concerned I hadn't 'sold myself' well enough that I had written a very long email explaining in more detail how I could parent these children. That also proved to be fairly pointless; when I spoke to the family finder she said they had seen the final couple who they were very happy with, and were going to proceed with that match. She said again that I should consider one child only and that was that.

I was very disappointed, and spent the next few days thinking how I would give up on the idea of fostering altogether. The trouble is, I know it's something I want/need/have to do and I can never stick with my decision to quit! When I called my agency to give them the feedback, I also asked to amend my age range, so that I could be considered for a wider age range and hopefully increase my chances of having a child placed through the agency. I have asked for ages birth to 7, rather than 4 to 7, but I still wonder if I should have been firmer from the beginning and stuck with birth to 11. I have also asked them, again, to please consider me for respite or short term placements.

Over the weekend I was browsing an adoption/fostering site that features children's profiles and came across two little girls who both need long term foster placements. I have now contacted one social worker who asked for my Form F (homestudy), and am trying to get in touch with the second one. One child is aged 6 and the other is 11. If I had to write an example of the kind of child I would like to be matched with, I would be describing the 11 year old almost exactly. It's so hard not to get all hopeful over these children, but I need to start thinking I won't be chosen. A family member is currently being assessed to care for the 11 year old, and I have no doubt this would be the best outcome for her, so there's probably even less chance of me being considered. I just wish I could do the job I set out to do.