A quick refresher in case you haven't been following along - we suddenly became full-time carers with David - a 12 year old boy (fictional names used) in our care. About 4-5 months into the placement we had seen a lot of improvement in overall health (better eating, weight gain and growth for his age) and had committed to caring for David long-term. However life wasn't easy and we were dealing with some pretty severe transference and anger issues in day to day life which were continuing to escalate. When I started writing here I committed to share my experiences both good and bad for the benefit of carers and potential carers alike, and this post definitely falls into the bad category. But in amongst the difficult situations we must learn … [Read more...]

Weathering an anxiety storm

It's 7:25am on a school day and the transport worker scheduled to pickup David (fictional name used) the 12 year old boy currently in our care is waiting in the driveway. While we aim to have him ready and on his way by 7:15am as long as he leaves by 7:30am he should get to school on time. Mornings are a struggle at the best of times but this morning wasn't so bad as David is in the final stages of getting ready and just needs to get his shoes on and fix his hair. On an impulse David decides he wants to take his black hoodie to school with him so he goes into his room to find it. As it always does the anxiety storm hits us without warning and escalates quickly. A few seconds after entering his room to grab his hoodie we hear loudly "No, … [Read more...]

Adjusting to new anxieties

Children in out of home care have faced trauma to some degree and this is often expressed through anxiety which itself can be manifest in a variety of behaviours. This post is describing our experience dealing with new anxieties we faced with a group of three siblings during our first emergency placement which you can read about here (I'd recommend reading that first as it might help to provide some further context to the overall situation which I won't cover here). We had already dealt with a variety of anxious behaviours through experience with different respite placements, but taking on an emergency placement with practically zero information about potential anxieties was a whole different level. There was no transition to speak of since … [Read more...]