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Foster carers

My husband and I are thinking about applying to be foster carers. We both have secure jobs. I am a special education teacher also. I know that isn't relevant but it is when we look at one of our two concerns.

1.We are concerned about being impacted negatively in our finances. We stopped at 2 children knowing we could live comfortably and still treat our children. I have looked at the allowance and also the cost of childcare. It would be a bit of a squeeze. We are both fulltime employed and I have 1 in childcare. Cab anyone give me guidance to how you battle the out of pocket childcare as a foster parent. I read $40 a week is guaranteed but it will cost about $175 for child care a week.

2. We have one child in year 1 and 1 in kindy. I am concerned how it will impact on my children. My eldest becomes attached to people to the point it can be a little stalkerish. My youngest struggles with sharing at kindy. He shares with his brother so he will probably adjust.

Any advice?


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Answers (5)

I would say wait until both of yours are at school for starters. They do grow out of the "wont share" behaviour a bit by then. And the little one will be mature enough to understand what you are doing, rather than seeing the new arrival as a usurper into the household.
Most fostered children will come to you either mildly or significantly traumatised, and you may not be able to put the foster child into daycare for behavioural reasons. Even with older children who are school age, some have such behavioural problems that you will find yourself constantly called to school to sort out the problems, and to take the child home. That will impact on your job. I say this from experience having an employee going through it. He and his wife both worked full time, and even though they shared the responsibility, the frequency of calls to school impacted both their jobs.
The other issue to consider is how a badly behaved foster child will influence your childrens behaviour.

 Please don’t refer to them as badly behaved - we’re talking about traumatised kids trying to find a secure and safe place in this crazy, mixed up world. The rest of what you said rings true. There are school issues or at least meetings more frequently than your own children. There’s contact with their family and transports to do. Therapeutic support is a big one.
It’s a big commitment, but an even bigger reward.
You could do ‘respite’ care as an option to ease in. This would involve having kids usually fri - sun once a month or fortnight and maybe a few extra days on school holidays.
It’s hard sending kids home as those decisions are out of your hands and the kids can leave no matter where they are placed.
There is a ‘statement of Standards’ (QLD) and I think a foster care handbook online which might give you some information.
That said, most foster care agencies run information sessions where you can go and ask questions etc... have a look for your state.
Good luck 😊

helpful (2) 
 Yes they don't call it badly behaved, they call it response to trauma or something.
However, I literally get phone calls everyday, I need to go pick up from school every other day, we are suspended on average once every week and a half, although can be more.
I've had older kids who've stolen money, jewellery, electronics ipads, phones etc, a car, holes in doors, holes in glass windows, sometimes child protective services are good and replace some items, Other times it's out of my pocket and my insurance. It's wet beds most nights, even for teenage children (not all children are like this), it's children who are toilet trained actually taking crap in their pants frequently (behave issue), my own kids sometimes don't get enough attention from me because of children who's attention needs are higher/greater. There's kids who have tried punching, slapping, fighting with my own teenage children, out of jealously. I've been kicked, punched, bitten,

helpful (0) 
 (ran out of space), bitten bruised punched kicked by kids as young as six, lots of runaways, lots of runaways where kids come back high/drunk (kids as young as 10) because they found mum/dad/relative to party with over weekend, lots of annoying calls to police. Cost wise, you receive an allowance designed to help with costs of food, clothing, pharmacy, power costs etc
helpful (1) 
 Ok. Here goes, from someone in child protection. It’s trauma that expresses itself through ‘bad behaviour’, it’s called ‘attachment seeking’ (generally) because they are genuinely seeking attachments to ‘safe’ adults.
Being trauma informed makes langange different but as long as you react as though you acknowledge the behaviour as trauma and don’t set the child/ren up to fail (learn about able/wiling) then you will be fine.
Fostering is hard work.

I know children who have been abused by foster carers, so I’m always skepticial but I have hope and I hope you are truly genuine. I also wouldn’t foster children older than my own due to sexual abuse which is very common, unfortunately, it’s a very sad reality

helpful (1) 

You know I considered this and I kept saying when the kids are a bit older... well the truth is there will never be a right time. For me it was an excuse, I like my lifestyle and love my little family and honestly I know this sounds harsh but I don’t want to give up what I have for anyone else. Yes it’s selfish but for me life is complicated enough. We both work and it can be tough if one of us isn’t working. Think carefully about it once you ahead you can not go back. Yes I am happy with my decision.

You want to be a foster parent to look good

OP I want to be a foster carer because I have seen the life these kids have had. Because every child deserves a loving home that is safe, a hot meal and a warm bed. Thanks for the judgement though. If I wanted to look good I would have put this on Facebook instead of an anonymous forum.
helpful (0) 

Why do you and hubby want to introduce chaos in your life ?

Dosent sound like you are ready

OP Sounds like I am wanting to be well informed before committing to another little person. Thanks for the fantastic help. Your comment really was targeted to my specific question.
helpful (2) 
 Answer is your finances and kids will be impacted
helpful (3)