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Foster Struggles

Community Member
My wife and I have been foster carers for 2 years, we are young (under 30) and are still yet to have kids of our own, we've had great results with our previous long term care situation (17 yo boy) and all of our respite kids love it here, everyone has come back after their initial stay, and we've maintained a relationship with young man that left our care. My wife and I agreed that we wouldn't do long term care again for awhile after the young man left as we needed time to grieve after losing a twin pregnancy 5 months ago. Then the agency contacted us they were desperate to place 2 children as one of them had broken down 2 placements previously and they needed a place immediately, although we were reluctant we were made to feel guilty about their situation and so about two months ago a 1yo (girl) and a 5yo (boy) came into our care just as the holiday season started and day-care services were shutdown due to covid, the boys behaviours weren't adequately disclosed and we were with both children 24/7 for nearly 5 weeks (primarily me), the agency provided no respite or assistance and we'd been struggling to cope with his behaviours, he was very violent towards his sister (Previous carers had lots of space to keep them separated and other older children to distract him), mostly incontinent (And a poo painter), bites, spits, wanders out of the house in the morning at 5am, trashes the living room before people get up in the morning ect. His behaviours (Violence mostly) and our small home where the children could not be separated and his needs requiring 24/7 attention causing his sisters attention needs to go unmet (Wife is at work during the day) lead to the services deciding that he needed to be homed away from his sister as to not impart his trauma on her, we were told that the 1yo would remain in our care due to the attachment she had formed. Yesterday we informed that shortly after the 5yo has been rehomed they will also be rehoming the 1yo to a family that has 2 more of her siblings and 3 of their own kids, we were told that sibling relationships supersede everything else even though the services psychologist has stated breaking down another attachment would be detrimental to the child. Apart from own frustration and anger towards the situation my wife is inconsolable, this has compounded her grief over our previous loss to the point that I am concerned for her wellbeing.

4 Replies 4

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

I'm sorry for your losses. My late MIL had a foster child now 19yo and we care for him on occasions, he's special needs.

So she got him at 4yo and full time till 14yo (suppose to be temporary) till he became violent with other children. He was taken off her.

I firmly believe, sadly, that if a foster parent is so badly effected by such loss then one should reconsider the role. However these situations arise because agencies don't have enough foster parents, hence the pressure and its hard to say NO!

I suggest you a/ have a chat with your GP. 2/ charity begins at home.

If capable of having children all your efforts need to be focussed on that eventuality. That's why age group 45-60yo are more ideal with fostering.

In effect you are both great foster parents but emotionally too easily attached with hearts too big for the role. Agencies sadly aren't up to the task of considering that part of the process. They just have do many kids on the books they have to locate them.

I would inform the agencies you are not in an emotionally sound enough to care for any more children and for then to remove you from the list. If not they'll ring and your big beautiful hearts will melt again.


Community Champion
Community Champion


Welcome to the forum.
My parents fostered children whom I am still in contact with today.

In my day one could only foster children younger than your oldest.

i know there are rules with fostering but considering your were helping them out by taking in the children now it seems hard to remove the girl after all you and your wife have suffered.

I admire you both.

i am sorry for your loss of pregnancy. I wonder if you and have your wife have had time to grieve and if you both are getting support and understanding for your loss.

The pinkelephants website has much information and support available.

I think you and your wife need support now.

Thank for your replies, we've previously cared for young children over short term with the knowledge that they would be moving on, it's been so difficult as we were told she was going to stay with us long term so we'd completely emotionally committed to it, clearly a mistake we'd been told by other carers we work with that this happens regularly.

I told the agency yesterday that we would no longer be taking on any new kids, we will be continue with our regular respite kids and reassess our situation in the future.
I will suggest to my wife that she speaks to someone GP or councillor, softly in the coming days as she's not ready for that talk right now, she's completely focused on the kids.

The agency has given the family taking the 1yo 3 months to decide whether they actually want to (even though they suggested it) and she will remain in our care until then, which is going to be incredibly hard for my wife.

We've had no time to grieve for our loss, not in any meaningful capacity, we had an emergency stay for 1 week starting from the day we found out about the miscarriage followed by 3 respite kids staying consecutively and the young man in our care was with us until 2 months ago.

I'm not even sure what a healthy grieving process looks like, we've been focused on the kids and for the last 10 weeks trying to get pregnant again.