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New here with some questions about fostering - Page 3  

post #41 of 51


Queenjane:

Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post

 

As far as i can tell ONE person in this thread said she actively discourages people from foster parenting, and she isnt even a FP. You seem to be focusing on that.


Assuming you're talking about me, I just wanted to clarify that I was a foster parent previously. I had 8 foster babies. I had my own problems with the system, and I met many other foster parents who had major problems, as well. Never met a foster child I didn't love, though. :) I tell people true stories from my own experience and the combined experiences of the many other FPs I know. I tell people what fostering is like in my county, based on those experiences, in addition to the information I've gotten from case workers, homefinders, etc. in the county. Yes, i actively discourage people in my county from fostering. And I sincerely hope that people in other places really find out what it's like in their area before they jump in. If it was only my experience that sucked, that's certainly not a good sample set. Unfortunately, I have pretty good data. And, really, our intentions when we started fostering were so good. We thought we were ready. We knew it would be "hard" and that we'd have our hearts broken, but we were "ready". We wanted to do what we could to help the kids get permanency, whether with us or with biofamily.  We also had never parented and had ideas of how we would do that, too! We thought our first foster son was "hard", and now we laugh at ourselves (he was probably the easiest baby ever...). Similarly, we laugh at how naive we were about fostering.

 

Also, we've had good friends who lived through our experiences with us, go right ahead and start fostering (in a different county). They know what they're up against, and still are constantly surprised and hurt by the system. They don't yet regret doing it, but they definitely understand how impossible it is to be fully prepared, and how extremely hurt you can get. There's no easy answer, so I continue to tell people my truth. Because nobody I know who has been a foster parent or become a foster parent after me has EVER told me that what I'm saying is inappropriate or unnecessary. In fact, they've all told me the opposite.

post #42 of 51

"As offensive as dismissing every negative experience posted here as "fear porn"?"

 

I think you are misunderstanding me. I had one specific problem with one specific poster, not a general problem with the entire thread. You seem to think that I object to hearing about bad experiences with the foster system, or fail to internalize such information, when what I ACTUALLY object to is the rhetoric of "nobody-should-do-that." Particularly when applied to something that damn well needs doing and isn't being done nearly enough. 

post #43 of 51

 

"Yes, i actively discourage people in my county from fostering."

 

To me, this is a lot more reasonable stance.

 

Sorry to make you the topic of the thread, Karin. It isn't personal. Rainbow.gif

post #44 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffani View Post

It's fairly important to mention that the OP is in Canada, where the rules and processes are different than in the US.  It's not all sunshine and roses up here either, but it's not quite as ...unpredictable as in the US.  Brandee, I can't remember where you live -- I know it's "away from me", but what province are you in again? have you talked to foster families in your area, or been to any information sessions or seminars or anything? Talking to other families in your province is the best first step. The system in Canada has it's faults for sure, but you only know what those faults are by hearing it straight from other foster families in your province/region. Listening to horror stories from the US is not going to do you much good. Social programs in Canada are much better, so while some of the horror stories are comparable, of course, anything about "the system" and even the level of abuse and neglect (typically) are different.

 

I hope there are Canadian foster parents who can jump in here and offer their perspective.  I have really close friends who foster here in BC, and it is a rollercoaster ride for sure -- every foster or adoption situation is -- but they have a LOT of support (they foster through VACFSS rather than the ministry, if that means anything to you) and it is working well for their whole family.



Hi Tiffani!

 

I'm in Vancouver but DH and I are looking to relocate to the Island. Thanks for the advice. I realized after the fact I was reading a lot of stories that did in fact happen in the US. I have found some great support in Canada and the system is REALLY different here. You are required to go through a training program and they do a pretty extensive home study. It is at that time your social worker learns about your family. All children in the home are interviewed. There are very strict requirements about sleep arrangments (all children must have their own rooms). There are also amazing support systems in place so foster parents don't get burned out. I have met quite a few foster families since I posted this, as well as their kids, and yes there are some scary stories but for the most part, foster parents here seem to have a lot faith in the system and how it works. DH and I are not intending to adopt unless the situation creates itself and it is right for our family. We both are going into this with idea that it's best for the kids to be with their birth families if it can happen and is a safe and healthy environment. DH's cousins who came to the family through the foster care system grew to have their own set of troubles and his one cousin lost her own child to the foster care system. She had a good heart but made some very bad choices. I guess that's one of the reasons I feel we would be good candidates to be a foster family. My heart breaks for the parents that lose their children as well. We never know what has happened in others lives that has lead them to make the decisions they do and while I would NEVER condone the abuse of a child, I believe with the proper support some people can change and everyone deserves the opportunity to do so without judgment.

 

I am not naive. I know there will be problems.

 

I am also a person who believes a positive situation begins with a positive attitude.

 

.....but maybe I just have my "glasses" onwinky.gif

 

 

post #45 of 51

 

Quote:
Assuming you're talking about me, I just wanted to clarify that I was a foster parent previously. I had 8 foster babies.

 

Sorry, i got you confused with AverysMomma, i think she was the one that said her family fostered growing up but she feels she couldnt do it.

post #46 of 51

 

 

Quote:

I don't dismiss the experiences of people who had traumatic C-sections after failure to progress, but it doesn't mean I'masking to hear their horror story when I tell them that I'm pregnant. And that's lot more common outcome in the family-building process than ZOMG THEY WILL RIP YOUR BABIES FROM YOUR ARMS YOUR WHOLE FAMILY WILL BE IN HELL I TELL ALL PEOPLE NOT TO FOSTER.

 

Seriously, how much cred would we be expected to give to a a person who "always tried to discourage people" from getting pregnant, you know, bad stuff can happen?

Nope, you don't have a truth yet. You have great hopes, and wonderful intentions, and I wish you the best and I hope it works out as you are hoping. But you don't have a truth, because you don't have experience. 

 

I think the above poster was right- the rates of negative outcomes or very painful situations is not akin to the rate of necesary c/s or of stillbirth or miscarriage, even. Almost anyone who's fostered for any significant amount of time will tell you that it's very hard and has very frustrating and even infuriating parts. I think almost all foster parents live with some fear of allegations, because they are very common.

 

I also want to warn you (while still encouraging you to explore foster care) that they will tell you almost anything while you are getting certified, and it doesn't mean much. This can be because of outright lying or just dumb caseworkers or confusion or whatever. I have heard so many friends be told stuff like "there are tons of kid available for straight adoption who are post visitation" (BTW, this doesn't exist. if a parent hasn't been TPRed, they can always get visitation back) or "there are tons of kids under 3 available" or whatever, and then it all changes. I know most of us have gotten the runaround while getting certified, and then it all changes. We were told we could give our preference for placements, but most of our calls were for kids way outside those limits. I know of many FPs getting placements who were worlds away from what they were promised (ie, they bring a 9 year old girl instead of a 4 year old boy, or they bring twin 5 year olds with RAD and CP instead of one healthy 6 year old).

 

Again, I am not discouraging you at all. In all, our experience as FPs was rewarding and good, and we've been blessed with an amazing adoptive son from it. But you need to go in assuming everything they say is BS. I think your assumptions of anonymity are completely off base. It's easy for the parents to find out your info, generally. You go to court together, you sign in sometimes, or your social workers will tell them. If the kid is over a certain age, they will tell. Really, I know they may say otherwise, but don't go into it assuming that. 

post #47 of 51
Thread Starter 

Thank-you all for your responses.

 

Given that I am the OP I would like to close the conversation now as I feel it has gotten unproductive.

 

Again, thank-you for your kind responses.

 

In love and blessings:)

post #48 of 51

 Quote:

 If a person fosters long enough they will almost certainly eventually have some sort of allegations leveled against them. 

 

We are in the process of taking the foster parenting classes now and this is one of the things that the social workers talk about during the class, people calling in the foster parents. It could be a daycare worker, but more likely the bio parents.

post #49 of 51

 

I heard the same thing in my training, and from IRL FPs - I haven't met any personally who've been accused, but I've met people who know people who've been accused. Accusations are a reality (and a great reason to strive to maintain anonymity IMO). Actually having your biokids removed from your house is something to freak out about the same way you'd freak out about a scary-but-very-rare medical complication. Sure, think about it, but the fear of it probably shouldn't run your life unless you also refrain from driving because you might crash the car and kill the kids. 

 

I do think that foster-parents-in-training get fed a lot of distorted information, here and everywhere else. I've been very surprised to find out some of the directions in which it is distorted. 

post #50 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
 Accusations are a reality (and a great reason to strive to maintain anonymity IMO).


Can you explain what you mean? Anonymity will do little to protect you from a bio parent making allegations, if thats what you mean. All they need is the child's name, DHS knows where the child lives. Also, IME the allegations are just as likely to come from the agency or a worker. I've had to deal with this twice, and its a PIA.

post #51 of 51

I am going to start a new thread out of respect for the OP.

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