my kids are in foster care

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  DK615617 5 years, 11 months ago.

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    hi, my 3 daughters aged 12, 11, 9 were taken into foster care in february 2007 (we live in Sweden). I had been married to a man who was violent towards me for over 2 years and i left him twice but came back again, as i had no where else to go. Finally i had him sent to jail for violence against me. Ive had fibromyalgia for about 7 years and i had to ask social services for help after he got sent to jail as i couldnt take care of my children and do the cooking and cleaning myself. So that went on for about 3 months,during which time social services decided that as i needed help, they didnt know if i was capable of taking care of my girls. So there was an investigation going on, and then, 6 weeks into the investigation, my stomach ulcers decided to perferate and my eldest daughter found me unconcious on the bed covered in blood that id vomited. She called the ambulance and because the ambulance men found a bottle of empty ibuprofen in my bedside table they assumed id taken an overdose and after i woke up in hospital 3 days later, social services came to me and said that my children had been taken into care as i had tried to kill myself and had obviously i was unable to take care of my children. I made the hospital take a load of tests and they all proved that 1 i hadnt tried to kill myself, 2 i wasnt an alcoholic and 3 i wasnt taking drugs. Didnt make any difference. Social services said that because of my fibromyalgia i was unable to take care of my children, because and i quote, my children were taking on adult responsibility because they knew when i was in pain, and made me cups of tea and wanted to know if they could do something for me. Anycase i was in hospital for almost a month recovering and as im a single mom and i dont have any relatives that could take my children i agreed voluntarily to my kids being in foster care as there really wasnt any choice. I got out of hospital and went for a meeting with social services about getting my kids home and they said that my kids had been mentally damaged by my being with my ex and my fibromyalgia and that i needed to move out of my ex husbands home and into my own apartment. Then my eldest was sent to a new foster family, she loves animals and social found a foster home that was based on a farm with a load of animals ( im allergic to furry animals) horses, dogs, cats, sheep etc. Plus it was around 100km from where i live. Then my youngest aged 9 went to a foster family about 80km north of where i lived. My middle daughter was sent to a foster family really close, she could catch a bus for 20 mins that brought her too me, and she came, about 3-4 times a week which was good, because my other two were so far away i only saw them once a week at weekends. No formal contact arrangement was made by social services even though i kept asking and asking. So it was just through the foster parents that i was able to see my girls. I moved into my new apartment at the end of May 2007, 4 bedrooms, so my girls still had their own rooms, but, my ex refused to give me furniture as it was already all there when i moved in with him when we got together. Social services said when i asked for help with getting furniture, as a parent you have to decide between eating, or furnishing your apartment so your children can come home. So i agreed voluntarily for my girls to stay where they were until the middle of the summer, while i starved and bought furniture to fill my 4 bedroom apartment. I took social services to court in July to get my kids home, and they told the judge that, my kids had been mentally scarred from my being ill and because id been in an abusive relationship and that my girls needed time to recover from it. But, i was told my middle child didnt need counselling for it even though i fought for it for months. Then social services changed my eldest daughters school, and then in November my middle daughter had her foster family changed to one closer to my youngest daughters foster family and after Christmas she had her school changed to the same one my youngest is at. Now, my fibromyalgia has been almost non existent for a year, ive had a restraining order against my ex for over a year, i’ve been receiving regular psychiatric counselling for what has gone on. And my psychologist says that i suffered from Battered Woman’s Syndrome and that is why i kept going back to my ex. And that now i’ve had my own apartment for a year, i do all my own cooking and cleaning and i don’t need help for it, i see a counsellor every week. So ive started the process to get my kids home but now, im having problems. My eldest daughter says that she wants to bring 4 rabbits home with her. 1, im allergic, and 2, i live in an apartment with only a very small balcony so its impossible for her to bring them. I tried explaining this to her but she says that, she loves animals and that she needs to have them. And that if i love her that i want what is best for her, and the best thing for her is to be around animals which means letting her stay in foster care. Then my middle daughter who ive been closest with in the time they have been in foster care, said to me last night that she was really sad, as she loves her school and all her friends, but that she really wanted to move home to me but that it was going to be so hard for her and she was scared as she doesnt know anyone here where i live, and she has to change school again, and again in another year when she goes onto high school. It broke my heart and i just could say to her how much i love her over and over again. Then there is my youngest daughter who is 10 next month. My baby, she loves her foster parents, she loves her school, she loves her friends, but she loves me too, and she wants to move home to me, but then she says she can’t because she wont have any friends here, and she has no friends, and she doesnt want to go to another school. She slept here for the first time about 6 weeks ago and had a really hard time of it, which i expected, because it was the first time in 14 months she had spent away from her foster parents and it was the first time she had slept in my apartment, in her new room with all her new things. I expected her to wake up and she did, and i spent the whole night with her sitting with her and holding her and comforting her. She was crying and i asked her why she was crying and she wouldnt tell me and i said to her, was it because she missed her foster parents and she said yes, and i told her, it was ok, i understood and i wasnt going to be mad with her for it because i love her so much. She told social services that i had been really wonderful and social services said id dealt with it the right way, and her foster parents said the same thing. But my daughter hasnt slept here since, and shows no signs of wanting to. She hardly calls me and says to me and social services its because she gets so sad because she misses me so much and its hard when she has to stop talking to me. Same with when she has come to see me, she has been physically sick because she hasnt wanted to leave me, and when ive called social services to beg for her to sleep over, and they said no, if she didnt go back to the foster home by taxi then they would send the police to come and get her.
    Another time I had made private arrangements with her foster parents that Isabelle could sleep over for 2 nights from Friday till Sunday and they would fetch her on the Sunday afternoon. They said she needed to be with me, so i went up on the bus and brought her down, we made a meal together, played some games, she went into the bath and played with her dolls, got out and we ate some supper and snuggled up on the sofa to watch tv before she went to bed, and she had her pjs on when my doorbell rang, and it was the police. Social services had called them and said she was in immediate danger and needed taking back to her foster parents. So they came out, talked to me and my daughter, they said that she wasnt in danger, she was safe and happy, but that they had to take her back to her foster parents. It was 9pm and dark, and she was really unhappy, her foster parents were shocked, my daughter was awake and crying all night. And social services said that they thought she was better off at her foster parents.
    So basically right now, ive got a hugely messed up situation
    I love my girls and i want whats best for them, but how do I decide what is best for them?, of course as their mum i want them all home with me, thats what ive been working for these last 15 months. I’m prepared for them to stay where they are until school finishes for the summer, ive agreed to that. But that i wanted them home after that so that they had time to settle in before starting new schools here after the summer, but after listening to my children, i just dont know what to do for THEIR best because it isn’t what i want or need that is important, its my girls’ needs that come first. Anyone got some advice? and i’m sorry this post is so long, but i had alot of things to say.



    I am very sorry for all your trouble. What grief you are experiencing!

    It’s a shame that they thought you were suicidal, but the fact is that you have health issues, and there’s a lot of stuff going on. And it is good to evaluate what your girls need – 15 months is a long time. Sometimes communications in social services get messed up.

    Your kids will likely need continued counseling because they have been through a lot of bouncing around – but you should continue working with your counselor. Keeping up this relationship, whether they live with you or not, will need some support for all of you.

    Nobody “needs” 4 rabbits. I had a rabbit once. They are nice pets. Nobody needs 4 of them. They can be a lot of work, and if you are allergic, the fur does fly. This may be an easier way for her to tell you that she would rather stay in foster care. Maybe she has made relationships, friends, routines, etc, and she does not want to give that up.

    I will remember all of you in my prayers. Keep us posted on how you are doing.



    I will keep you in my prayers. That is a really tough decision.
    I don’t really know what to say. I do know that kids don’t always know what is best, that is why they have parents. I bet that they are a little scared to come home. Do they ever see each other?? I think if they all did come home, they would make friends, and like their new schools, and of course be happy to be home with mom. But, all of that is a lot of changes for them to have to go through……so I am sure they are scared.
    I wish you the best of luck in your decision, it is a tough one. You want them there with you, and together, but you want them to be happy too. Good luck, and keep us posted.

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