Kyle and I were asked to write an article in the School Newspaper, about the work we do Fostering. Of course, we were glad to write a article, which you can read below.
Fostering isn’t just about giving a child somewhere safe to live, Fostering is looking after their every needs, from healthcare to their mental health to making sure they get good education and get to have the same rights as any other child. This can be a little tricky, especially when a child has been placed under a Child Protection Order (Which can be issued by a court) or a Police Protection Order. (Police Protection Orders can be obtained by the Police and usually last 72 hours, to provide immediate protection of a child. – Life and limb. In an emergency, where there is a immediate risk, [IE: a child being held at knifepoint etc] The Police can use an “enforcer”, [also known as “the big key” ] to break in without a warrant. If there is no risk to life and limb, a court warrant must be issued first.)
We have 2 emergency beds, which are used for kids who come on emergency placement, either due to Child Protection, Respite or other reasons. The other 2 are long term beds. Our emergency Beds are used on a regular basis and are never empty long. The front door to our house never closes, as there is always a child in need, who need to be placed. It does wear me and Kyle at times, as some of the kids are high support needs. Either they have been abused , have mental health problems or other problems. Often emotions run high in the house, but Kyle and I address this quite quickly, before a fight or other inappropriate behaviour starts. (If needed we will restrain if needed. (IE: if one of the kids was about to walk out in front of a car, if one of the kids was about to throw a punch at one of the other kids or if they were about to throw something at one of the other kids or myself \ Kyle and I, then we would use restraint. However, restraint is always the last resort and will only be used in an emergency.
Because of the work we do, our house has to be secure. (Due to the kids we foster) This means that we have have to keep the front door locked, we have cameras outside and we have a walled hedged garden, which is safe for the kids. Our boys know what to do if someone did get into the house and know to run and hide and then use the phone to call the Police, if they cannot find one of us. The boys are really well supported. As well as Kyle and I, we have Jenny, who is our Live In Carer, who is brilliant with the kids. We also have my Mum, (Linda) who works for me and Kyle part time as an extra carer. (Sat and Sun)
The kids have a near to normal life as possible. Some of the boys enjoy supervised activities over at the school, some go to local clubs, (such as scouts and Youth Club) while kyle and I do activities with the kids at home and out and about as well. (For instance, the kids like cooking, bowling, playing pool, swimming, watching films, having BBQ’s,
camping in the garden, playing on the games consoles and much more!) We have pets as well, we have our 11 year old Rough Collie called Mollie and our 8 year old cat called Sox. The boys adore the pets, who are very docile and are well loved by by the boys and by myself, Kyle, Jenny and Linda. We use the pets as a therapy for the kids, as we tell them to open up to the pets, if they feel they have a problem they don’t feel they can talk to us about. (they don’t judge, they won’t tell you what to do and they won’t tell a soul, that I can promise you!)
Kyle and I have 2 kids we adopted as well. (Josh, who’s 13 and Kyrlo who is 6) With the other kids, our 2 sons keep us on our toes and have various problems and issues that we deal with on a daily basis. We often get woken in the night by one of the kids, (adopted or paperfostered) as they are either frightened or are not well. Sometimes this means we get less sleep than we hope for!