Brains In Arse Syndrome.

Who says that to a child with trauma and dyspraxia and learning difficulties?

Apparently Kelly’s foster dad.

That poor girl. Even in jest that’s a horrid thing to say to someone much less a child who has problems telling if someone is joking of not.

We reported this back to her case worker via the appropriate channels. I know they are working with him to help him understand trauma and it’s impact on children.

Kinship care is so difficult because there’s so little training and resources available for carers. Is it any wonder that 30% of the emergency placements we have personally had have been kiinship placements that have failed?

As foster carers we chose this path. We appilied to do it. We did the training and assessments, the home visits and interviews. We got into this with our eyes open, more or less, because all the training in the world sometimes can’t prepare you for this journey. But we chose to do it.

Kinship carers get a call, often out of the blue, to take in a relatives child, and sometimes it’s not a close relative. A cousin. A second cousin maybe. There is a mad scramble to get a background check done and a home safety check, but there’s no time to go through all the training. I’m sure in many cases there’s a cartain ammount of guilt that accompanies a kinship placement. It’s a relative, someone you feel obliged to help. They are innocent children. But, they are also traumatised children.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the department recognised that just because a child is placed with family, it doesn’t mean that the family instantly know how to deal with these children and what they have been through. In David’s case, he went to an Aunt that hadn’t seen him since he was a baby. When she asked for respite because she needed a break it was unavailable. Would that placement still be going if she had been able to get respite?

Kelly has been with her carer almost 8 years now, and to try and keep the placement going the department is FINALLY doing something with her foster dad. Giving him help and support and teaching him about trauma and how it’s affected  her brain developement and why telling her she has Brains in Arse Syndrome is adding to her trauma.

But why should things get to the point where everyone is ready to throw in the towel before something is done? Wouldn’t it be far better to earlier in the placement provide help, support and training? Wouldn’t it be better to try to prevent problems in the placement early on, rather than trying to repair it?







We speak. They listen. They act.

Our foster agency is in a word, awesome.

One of the short term carers spoke with her support worker about issues some of us have been discussing on facebook (closed group) and, ta dah. They organised a support group for short term carers with placements going GOM18 (long term).

It was a lovely session. Carers and some of the support workers together, on a Saturday, yes they do have support groups on weekends so those who work can also come along, chatting about the issues we want to chat about.

For MM and I, we went along because “Jade’s” case is due to go to court next month.
We had questions and we got answers.

Can we go to court to see how it works?
No. Unless you are invited by the social worker, only birth family can attend.

How can we let the court know our thoughts on “Jade” being removed from us to be placed with strangers?
You can petition the court, it gets attached to the file and then it’s up to the judge if they read it or not (yes, seriously they can choose not to read it). The petition doesn’t have to go through the social worker, we can just send it in, so I don’t need her permission to have our say.

What other things can we do?
You can make a report to CARL (Child Abuse Report Line) if you think she could be in danger, or even to state that you think it would be detrimental to her to be removed.
You can contact the Guardianship Office and speak directly with them about the situation.

It was a lovely afternoon, but I feel we are in for a long next couple of months. Some of the other carers have had their cases adjourned many times which must be incredibly heart wrenching. For those carers, they are being considered for the long term care of their children, and they are just waiting for that official judgement to know the children will be staying with them.
For us, we want to be considered as the long term carers for “Jade” but at this stage there is a family friend that is being considered first, so for us, the court process will be heart wrenching because it may become the beginning of the end of our time with “Jade”.

MM is sitting beside me saying “But it might also be the beginning of the beginning of our long term placement”. Gotta love that man and his optimism! I am so blessed to have him.