You hear about the enormous need there is for more foster carers in the UK, how so many children are in inappropriate placements and need family homes to live in. So why, if that is the case, are we still waiting for children to be placed with us?
OK, with a rational head I can answer that question. We are fostering through an agency so we are not always the first choice for local authorities who much prefer to do things ‘in house’ if possible. In addition, we have a young family that has to be considered when making a match. This means we are not as flexible in placements as those with much older children at home or living independently.
Keeping all this in mind still not having foster children in place isn't so terrible. It means that when we do get a placement the chances of it working are far, far greater – a much more important factor than how quickly the beds are filled.
Knowing that we are doing the right thing for the best outcome doesn’t make it any easier to live with on a day to day basis though! The beds are made, the room is clean and I have emergency kiddie food in the freezer just in case a chicken nugget and chips meal is required at short notice. Any plans with friends and family now come with the proviso “but of course if we get a foster child before then we may not be able to”. This of course means that like us, all our friends and family are waiting with bated breath for the big announcement!