A Day in the Life of... Foster Carers
1st January 2017
How keen am I? Well, to be honest it’s a quiet time of the morning after lots of partying last night (some healthy, some not so healthy) and I’m putting off facing everyone else.
I am in my 40s, my wife a little younger than me and our only son has just gone off to live in the town to be “nearer his mates.”
I’m quite apprehensive about writing this as I want to ensure that this is anonymous as there are things I want to explore and say that I just can’t share with my wife. At the moment. At all.
We’ve had a really good life and we wanted to give something back to others that didn’t have as much as us. We live in a good area now but we haven’t always and we’ve seen lots of people a lot worse off than us. We had a really naïve I suppose you’d say view of kids in the care system – who they were and what we could do for them. We imagined I suppose that kids would see someone caring for them, a warm bed and good food, times at the cinema and bowling activities and know that they had a good life now regardless of what their life has been like before.
If I’m honest I don’t really understand what’s going on most of the time. We have two girls living with us – age 14 and 15 – from really terrible backgrounds. I don’t understand their experiences and I don’t want to know either. I am worried about being in a room with them on my own and I know they pick up on this and really play on this.
I really want to be here with them. I see my wife laughing and joking with them. I think she always wanted a girl. I know she always wanted more children, but I didn’t. I did at times but the times were never right.
I allow myself 10 minutes each day to acknowledge how hard this feels then I can put it to one side and get on with life. These girls haven’t done anything to deserve my ambivalence and I would be devastated for them to not feel wanted which isn’t true. I do want them. In a way. Just not quite sure what that means and if I raise this with the social worker I feel they’ll take this opportunity away from my wife.
I suppose that’s not really a day in my life more of an overwhelming sense at the moment and I’m sure that’ll pass.
Roger (foster carer for 1 year, London)
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