Tabatha’s Blog: 26th November
My name is Tabitha and I have been a foster carer for 6 years.
The young people I have been privileged to meet have often been hugely affected by their life experiences and just want to feel safe. It is fascinating to see what they develop into when you assist them to find their voice! The results may not always be what you like, as they normally need to work through a lot of anger.
Since working for the Compass Group, I have provided a long term home for two sets of siblings, have offered respite for various young people and have supported two young people who were not in main stream schooling to return.
We are proud to be foster carers!
G has been rocked this week by our new placement who is 16. G has had to share me and to top it off my partner has been away for the weekend, so it’s hard to work out what has unsettled her.
She is enjoying having another person in the house but it has brought about some regression. She is begging for food again which is something we have not seen for a long time. G was pleased that she knew the new child H before she arrived which helped.
It’s been interesting watching the two interact. G is affirming that she is firmly attached to us and that the boundary setting we have put in over the last couple of years is really paying off.
In terms of settling a new person in, I had forgotten how all of the placements arrive with a huge dependency on sugar; cereals and drinks filled with it and they seem to have withdrawals if not given any. It normally takes about a month to wean them off sugar and get the young person to increase their water intake.
H is closed and hardened to being in care as she has been accommodated in foster placements for half of her life. She can be challenging and is shocked when she does not have to argue for what she wants. So far her material needs are minimal and her emotional needs are huge.
We don’t consider ourselves to be good at caring for teenagers but so far we seem to be rubbing along quite well. H met my Mum and heard G calling her grandma. H asked if she could call her that too as she had never had a grandparent. It’s comments like that which make you think about how lucky your own childhood was. We are fortunate that our grandparent figures embrace fostering and love all of our placements unconditionally. One Grandma calls all of our ex-placements once a month when appropriate and meets up for coffee with them when they ask to see her.
I’m painfully aware that I need to shop for a young person I hardly know and Christmas is hard enough when you know the children well, let alone second guessing what they would like when they have just arrived.
Next week we are meeting our family and going to the Panto …. I really hope she enjoys being part of a large extended family!
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