Halloween is approaching and my young person is already deep in conversation about costumes and trick or treating. This will be the first year she is allowed to do this – she is now a fully-fledged teenager. I can hear you – what’s the problem? It’s a normal teenage evening night out with rewards???
My problem is this – the costume. As a Foster Carer I always want to ensure she is protected and dresses appropriately. I want to know that I am supporting her self-esteem and development but at the same time I want to ensure she isn’t dressing inappropriately and left vulnerable in any way. It’s always a difficult one with fostering as I want to give her plenty of choice but at the same time, I want to provide her with support and make sure she is protected and protects herself.
As a family we have spoken about the costume. I have also spoken to her friends’ parents (one particular couple are comp head teachers and very experienced), I have also talked, had advise, and a good telling off from my social worker from Calon Cymru – let her be a normal young lady!!!
We are going to put measures in place if she is out ‘trick and treating’ The first being the start and finish time, the second being distance and route and third they must stay together. She knows we are at the end of the phone. Her phone has emergency numbers set up on voice command. We have also put parents numbers in the whole groups phone. This way we are not singling her out; everyone has the same amount of adults numbers.
We sometimes forget that foster children need to be children. Many have had cruel starts, some have been the adult and need to be young, but as carers we must encourage feel good activities. Her friends are staying with us the day before and we are all going to carve pumpkins. My daughter is doing their make-up and I will be waiting patiently for her to return. Once everyone has gone home, we plan on cwtching up on the settee, watching a film and enjoying the sweets.