Love

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Pepperpot
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 24, 2019 12:21 am

Love

Post by Pepperpot » Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:36 pm

I know this is ridiculous. I should know better. But I’m breaking my heart. My heart has been breaking for the last year but every so often it strikes deeper. In quick summary my two children 4 and 2 at the time were taken into care in June after I ended up in hospital exhausted dehydrated anaemic and generally a mess. I found myself here because my husband suddenly died at the end of 2018 and for a couple of weeks I wasn’t taking the best care of myself. I got myself put right in 5 days in the hospital but my children were taken from me and I still don’t have them back. I lost my husband and I lost my children, who just lost their dad. All because basically I neglected myself for a couple of weeks. I never neglected them, I never hurt them, I just went through a period of depression. I’ve survived so far and we’re actually in the rehab stage, they will be returning in 3 weeks. I’ve been angry, depressed, anxious and all the emotions you can think of because I really feel this wasn’t fair. But just as I’m nearly there, today my 5 year old said that the foster carer loves him the most but he loves the foster carer and me the same. I know. He’s 5. I’m 35. I should just get over it. But you know what it really hurt. Personally I don’t think she should be saying she loves them so much (apparently she says it all the time) although of course I want them to feel safe and secure and I suppose that does include loved but I just can’t shake it. I never neglected or abused my children and I never wanted them in foster care, they ended up there because my in laws completely abandoned me and fought to get the kids into care while I was unwell. I feel completely let down and alone, and although I’m getting my children back, I feel like the whole thing has been completely over the top and wrong, and that they have taken away some of the incredibly close bond I’ve always had with my beautiful children. It’s really struck me today and although I know I shouldn’t be so bothered, I just am. Do you think temporary foster Carers should be saying how much they love them all the time? She also often belittles me in front of the children. This whole scenario came from a tragic place of grief and the sooner this year is finished the better x thank you for reading x

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2632
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Love

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:14 pm

Dear Pepperpot

Welcome to the parents’ discussion board and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie and I am Family Rights Group’s online adviser. I am very sorry to hear of all the difficulties and losses you have suffered recently including the sudden death of your husband and how these traumatic events have impacted on your wellbeing. It is very good to hear however that you are now much recovered and that your two young children are in the process of being returned home to your care, having been in foster care since June.

You have all been through a very difficult time and your bereavement is still quite recent. The separation from your children has been particularly painful for you especially as you feel that you were unsupported by your husband’s family which lead to the children going into foster care.

From what you say, you were very unwell for a short time in the summer and were not able to care for yourself properly but your stay in hospital helped a lot. As the children’s sole carer this would have had an effect on them and if no-one in the family or your network was able to help you to care for them (this should have been first fully explored by children’s services) especially while you were in hospital then foster care may have been the best option for them. However, I don’t know if this was done with your agreement as accommodation (voluntary arrangement) or if it involved a court application for a temporary care order. If you need further information about these processes please do look at our respective advice sheets on children looked after by childrens’ services in a voluntary arrangement and care proceedings.

It sounds as if you may not have been offered or encouraged to seek emotional support to help you manage the impact of the children being in foster care. I don’t know whether you were able to access legal advice to seek the children’s earlier return? If you have more queries about how things happened/if they could have been done differently you can ring our freephone advice line to discuss this with an adviser (0808 801 0366, Mon to Fri 9.30 am – 3.30 pm) or if you prefer post a query about this.

There is now a plan for the children to return home in the next couple of weeks which is great news. The type of help you can get when the children come home depends on their legal status i.e. if there is a temporary care order or if they are currently accommodated under a voluntary arrangement which will come to an end when they are home. In this situation, the social worker should carry out an assessment to see what support or services you and the children may need when they come home. This is a good opportunity for you to ask for any help you think you or the children may need including any emotional support, practical help or help being the children’s main carer again and getting over the time you have spent apart. Have a look at the information in our advice sheet on reuniting children in the care system with their families.

You are quite hurt at the moment which is understandable. You are glad that the children feel safe and secure including feeling loved but the comments your son has made about loving you and his foster carer the same have hurt and you are not sure if she should be saying she loves him. It is good that the children feel cared for while they are not in your care as the aim is that they will feel safe, valued and protected and enjoy a good relationship with their carer. You would not want your child to feel uncared for or insecure in foster care. The fact that your son has been able to form a good relationship with his foster carer is most likely because he has already experienced and had a strong relationship with you and his father. You will always be your son’s mum and his first and enduring carer and do not have to compete in any way.

An important part of the foster care’s role though is to also form a relationship with you as the child’s mum and to support your role. If you know that the foster carer has belittled you, in front of the children, then this is not appropriate. You can discuss your concerns about this with your social worker or the Independent Reviewing Officer. Foster carers are supervised by their own social worker so issues can be addressed by them, if need be. Foster carers are also regularly reviewed and parents can contribute to their reviews.

I hope that the children’s return home goes well and that everything works out for you as a family. Be prepared for some ups and downs though during the transition as you have all been through a lot and it is natural that you may all need some time to adjust. Talk this through with the social worker or any other professional who is supportive of you, in advance, so that you can get advice and help when and if you need it.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch again if we can help.

With best wishes

Suzie

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