Following on from Part One, here is Family Care’s second article on ‘just what it is like to be a Foster Carer.’ Our last article considered the feelings and emotions that are experienced by Foster Carers when a child enters their care.
This article explores many of the feelings associated with a child’s first few hours with a foster family.
It was really late when I arrived. I don’t know where I am. Where is Stoke anyway? The foster carers said I should go to bed after I had my drink, I wonder if they know I don’t like hot chocolate? I can’t remember their names and they said to shout if I needed anything but how can I shout them when I can’t remember their names? I could go and get them but I don’t know which their bedroom is and I don’t know if I can leave the bedroom, I wasn’t allowed at home. I’m hungry. Do they know I’ve had no tea? What were all those papers that social worker gave them? Do they know about what happened in school last week? Where are all my things? Does my mum know I’m here? I wonder where she is. Is that Billy still living with her? Who’s looking after her now I’m not there?
The bedroom smells funny, not bad, just funny. It’s really dark in here – there are no lights in this bedroom; at my last foster carers house they didn’t leave the light on but the street light shone on the window, I miss that. I miss Ben too. I didn’t mean to hurt him, it was an accident.
I can hear the carers talking now... one of them is saying they hope I settle in and sleep through the night. Sleep through the night... sleep through the night... does that mean I can’t shout them if I need them? Will they get mad if I shout because I am not sleeping? Can I go to the toilet if I need to have a wee? Will they get mad? They want me to sleep through the night? Can I get a drink? Where do I get a drink? I am really thirsty... no don’t have a drink because then I may need to go to the toilet and then I would have to get out of bed and then they may get mad and shout at me and make me leave. My mum used to shout at me if I left my bedroom at night but my last carer used to get annoyed when I had a wee in the bin... but I didn’t leave the bedroom; what should I do? I wonder if that is why the last carers made me leave... will they move me again if I do something wrong?
I want to go home; I miss the noises and the loud music at night. I want to go home, I need to go home. I fell asleep quietly crying.
What’s that! I can hear someone moving around outside my bedroom... are they going to come in? Should I go and have a look? Am I meant to be up and dressed? Where are my clothes? I will ask so I don’t get it wrong... oh no what are their names? What should I do? Can I leave my bedroom?
I am scared.