When I have a difficult placements I disappear. Mostly because I’m forced to dedicate a majority of time dealing with behaviors and such. Then, when I’m not dealing with the trauma… I’m trying to enjoy my down time. I’ve been stagnant for months, approximately 5 months. My life has been on hold and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard.
I signed up for this. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but I’ve never been this challenged providing foster care. Have you ever heard the expression ‘…throwing a wrench in a dryer?’ Yeah. Everything is fucked. I wish I were exaggerating. We experience the same behavior no matter what method we try. We attempt to prevent it and we cannot win. When I say we have tried everything I truly mean it. The lying. The stealing. The lack of accountability. The inability to maintain composure in groups. That’s the kicker, we are a group. My family is a group.
The agony is… well, keeping my difficult placement segregated due to outbursts and danger to himself is devastating. I don’t want him alone but he cannot function within a group. He struggles at school due to the group size and he struggles at the after school club due to group sizes. Luckily we have a plan in action that pulls him away from groups and puts him in a more secure space, where he can handle himself appropriately. However, I feel like constant segregation isn’t a way to live life. It breaks heart. He is enrolled in multiple therapies and groups to help with the trauma and to help intergrate him into groups. My placement has about half curriculum due to his behaviors. He simply refuses to do homework or read. And although daily I ask him for his behavior report he always says he lot it or he forgot it.
My heart aches for this boy. He is sweet and kind, he is bright and smart! When he is one on one he is an absolute joy to be around. Even adding in 1 child/person he does pretty well but when you add in any more than that this poor, sweet, boy cannot regulate. He will forget the rules of gravity and every safety precaution he has ever understood. Or, he will simply scream and meltdown. There is no rhyme or reason to his behaviors; we have tracked and tried all sorts of things. If you have any ideas or methods, PLEASE reach out to me. I’m open to learning or trying anything to help this boy. I’ve spoken to various therapists, behavior coaches, etc. I feel like I’ve exhausted my resources. Maybe YOU can help me.
This kids caseworker has gone out of his way to make me feel like garbage about the situation. He’s said shitty things about the family traveling without him and alienating him. This kid cannot be in a car with 4 other kids for a ride to school in the morning, we literally have a silence rule in the car to avoid meltdowns, his caseworker thinks taking him out if town and to a cheer competition is us alienating him. I’m sorry that I don’t want him exposed to things I KNOW will trigger him. It’s my job to protect him, I simply will not subject him to that. If he could handle the situation I’d happily take him along; I treat my placements the same way I treat my bio kids. I’d never put any of my kids in any type of situation where they’d be uncomfortable.
In any case, I’m drowning. It’s taking it’s toll on me. It’s taking a toll on my family.