7 Things NOT To Say To A Foster Carer

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7 Things NOT To Say To A Foster Carer

We all have those well-meaning people in our lives, be they family or friends who like to comment on our choice of becoming a fostering family.  Sometimes these comments are so ludicrous they make us laugh out loud, other times they are so insulting we want to cry but most often we are left just scratching our heads and wondering what on earth were they thinking!

Here is a list of the 7 most common comments carers have heard and how they felt about it:

  1. I couldn’t do what you do, I’d get too attached.

I get attached too.  My heart breaks every time a child leaves my family.  But these kids need someone to care for them, even if it means I get hurt.  They need someone who will put them first instead of themselves.

  1. I don’t know why you’re complaining. At least you get paid to look after these kids.

I get an allowance to cover the essential expenses such as food, housing and other basic needs.  This allowance does not cover things like school excursions, school supplies, toys, holidays, birthday and Christmas gifts, braces or the time and fuel it takes for me to take them to all the appointments and contact visits they have.

  1. That child causes you nothing but trouble, why don’t you just give them back?

Really?!  This child needs someone to go in to bat for them.  There parents, for whatever reason, couldn’t, countless others have let them down in one way or another and I will not add to that list.  

  1. That child just needs some good old-fashioned discipline.

First, I don’t need parenting advice from someone who has never fostered, second you have no idea what this child has been through.  Most children in foster care are traumatised and need love and support, not discipline!

  1. They’re so lucky to have you!

I disagree and here is why: they were removed from all that was familiar by a stranger and then given to another stranger.  These kids are not lucky.

  1. What did his parents do to him/her?

Please don't ask this, especially not in ear shot of the child in question.  This child deserves privacy and respect so I will not discuss what they have been through with anyone who does not need to know.

  1. Which one’s are yours?

They are all mine.  We don’t do labels, especially not when the children are in ear shot!

What other inappropriate, if well-meaning, comments have you had made to you as a carer?  We would love to hear from you so please email wendy@fostercareangels.org.au

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