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would i be unreasonable to put my grandson into foster placement

(45 Posts)
LucyMP Sat 15-Sep-18 15:33:11

hi i need some help please

i took in my grandson 2 months ago he is 13 after his dad went to prison for assault my daughter passed away when he was just 9 months old, it has been 12 years.

he is extremely difficult i didnt see him that much before this as we live quite far and i have to as my husband is in a care home at the moment and i have to be close to him.

he came here and things were obviously very hard for him and a big big change but he expected to have things just handed to him when he arrived "you dont own an ipad" and "what the fuck will i watch on the tv" just lots of disrespect and swearing in casual conversation, i try and tell him he will not come here and speak to me like that but he just swears more and asks me "and what the fuck are you going to do about it" he has already stolen money and does not come back till very late at night and i dont know what to do.

i try and see my husband but i have not been able to see him much since my grandson moved in, he does go to school thankfully but he started at a new one this month and school phones me a lot to say i have to collect him because of him hitting and i could no believe that and told them i was sorry but i could not because i was seeing my husband.

o think my only option is to put him into foster care or some kind of home that can help him as i definitely cant,

Elrel Tue 18-Sep-18 15:30:20

Hoping OP and her grandson are able to access the support they so clearly need and deserve. Some good suggestions on here and, of course, a few posts showing little compassion.

This child has had his life disrupted only a few weeks ago, as well as wisdom, strength, and skill, resettling him will take time. OP has taken on a huge task, far more difficult than she may have expected. There is no shame in asking for support or in recognising that it may be beyond her.

knickas63 Tue 18-Sep-18 14:54:05

My Son-in-law works for a marvelous firm that looks after children. They own a dozen or so homes and each home houses up to 4 children. They run it as much like a family home as possible. They are extremely caring and have had good results with troubled teens. I am not sure of the dynamics of how they are placed there - but there may be something similar in your area? They are a Private Firm that are paid by Social Services. I think this lad needs the right kind of support from people who have experience with troubled kids.

loopyloo Tue 18-Sep-18 13:44:23

Lucy, no you would not be unreasonable. It sounds as if this young man needs some skilled care. I hope he gets it.
Look after yourself.

PECS Tue 18-Sep-18 11:35:23

notanan2 things are woefully underfunded and stretched but child protection concerns, which this is, must be reported and dealt with.

Iam64 Tue 18-Sep-18 08:43:28

I am not criticising the OP when I state its usually far better for children including teenagers, to be cared for within their family. By the time teens arrive in the care system, they are ripe to be exploited. Some 13 year olds in expensive residential or specialist foster provision are drawn into gangs, drug use and all manner of dangerous criminal activities.
Not every disaffected, alienated, sad and angry young person is drawn into gangs and I don't believe its helpful to suggest its an inevitability

Diana54 Tue 18-Sep-18 07:23:49

Iam64, what do you think he is doing when he is out late a night as the OP describes. It highly likely he is out with a group of poorly parented children similar to him, he sounds exactly like the disaffected youngsters that get involved in the gang culture.
Last year a very depressed grandad was telling me of his grandson who had got involved, he was a big strong guy of 55 he was in tears, absolutely nothing had any affect. The boy's father was also in prison, mother was frightened of the boy, desperately sad.

notanan2 Tue 18-Sep-18 02:09:03

They should do PECs but with overstretched services they wont be prioritised unfortunately

PECS Mon 17-Sep-18 20:29:42

I believe that even familial foster placements will have family services support and a named case worker at least initially. Do you have the contact for someone as Family Services? The school too will have a home school link worker, also additional funding in school available for a student who are 'looked after'. Ask for help via school or social/family services.

Patsy70 Mon 17-Sep-18 18:07:58

Lucy, you are in an unbearable position and desperately need professional advice on the way forward, as recommended above, both for you and your grandson. I do hope you've made those phone calls today, as the situation really can't continue. Please let us know the outcome.

HurdyGurdy Mon 17-Sep-18 17:37:36

Iam64 - "To suggest he's heading for gang membership takes things to an unnecessary and extreme level"

Unfortunately, this is exactly where so many young "lost" young people - not just boys - end up. Through my work in Children's Services, I attended "Gangs and County Lines" training and was utterly shocked at how largescale the problem of gangs is. The feelers from each gang spread for miles of their core.

starbird Mon 17-Sep-18 17:29:45

kathsue some are saying that one of the reasons for the lawlessness and gang culture in cities is down to boys not having a father. I think there are lots of reasons and that is only one of them.
The reason I thought a role model would help in this case is because it sounds like his father was not a good example. How does a child decide how to behave if it has no one to set a standard? Ideally they need to see a spectrum of behaviour - both male and female, which happens in extended families who meet often, amongst people they share worship with, school teachers, or adults at a sports or other interest club they may belong too.
If the child lives with one parent and most of its other examples of adults are from books, tv, films etc then the virtual reality characters they see may have a particularly large influence on them, and too often, many of these characters are violent and/or abusive - because most teenage boys would choose to watch that over the akternatives. Yet how many families control what their children watch, or the computer games they play in the living room let alone their bedroom? ( Apart from Helen in the Archers! ). As well as today, many children in the past were brought up by a single parent, usually mothers, for example after the major wars, but usually there was more input from family and community. Today this is often missing, and although small children may be naturally caring and unselfish, all too often, and thanks to the media all around them, if left unchecked, they end up the opposite. ( As secret life of 4/5/6 yr old has shown us). Parenting is very hard for two parents, let alone one - and if they don’t have decent values themselves, where else will a child get a sense of right or wrong from? But the particular issue with a boy is, that at a certain age there is a lot of pressure to be a daredevil, macho and often, to ridicule and be abusive to women - including sisters and mothers and also to what they see as weaker, boys. That is where a decent, non violent male role model can make all the difference and why, without them, or enough of them, we can very quickly end up in a dangerous, violent society.

oldbatty Mon 17-Sep-18 09:18:54

Lucy, make some phone calls this morning and get some support. Please come back and tell us how things are going.

notanan2 Sun 16-Sep-18 20:57:51

Expecting him to want to make it work will likely make it not work

Of course he doesn't want it to work right now, that would be accepting everything that led up to him finding himself fostered. He needs to be allowed to be unhappy to be there (in the situation)

notanan2 Sun 16-Sep-18 20:51:44

both of them will need to really want it to work
Wrong. IMO.
For it to work the adult has to want to believe in him when he doesn't believe in himself and says he doesn't want it to work as a defence mechanism to shut himself off from more potential hurt.

Its not going to be 50:50. Sometimes it'll be 100:0.......IF its to work. That's the nature of fostering

Iam64 Sun 16-Sep-18 20:39:20

I agree that from what the OP says this boy has had a very tough time. Of course it would be unrealistic to expect any sort of 'overnight fix'. If he's to stay with his grandmother, both of them will need to really want it to work, they'll need expert help and practical support. It may not be the right thing for either of them.
To suggest he's heading for gang membership takes things to an unnecessary and extreme level

notanan2 Sun 16-Sep-18 20:27:34

It's not damning him to point out that it would be unrealistic to expect any sort of overnight "fix" and whoever he is with is going to have to be willing to play a long game

Iam64 Sun 16-Sep-18 20:22:53

Diana54, talk about damning a child and giving a grandmother the worst possible advice.

Diana54 Sun 16-Sep-18 20:17:19

Sorry Lucy you have tried to do what is best but you are way out of your depth, your grandson is neglected, arrogant and out of control an ideal recruit for a gang where he will have to obey that gangs rules and "belong".

Contact social services and they will decide what is best, a foster parent or residential care may help him although they don't lock him up or make him attend school. I'm afraid a lot of damage has been done and it is likely to take many years to put right.

Fennel Sun 16-Sep-18 19:34:40

Lucy - I can't add anything to the good advice above.
As a Granny you have done the right thing, acting on a loving impulse, to take in your poor grandson. But you should have been better prepared.
You husband also needs you.
Don't feel guilty if you have to give up his care to someone else - he can always come back later.

mostlyharmless Sun 16-Sep-18 17:04:17

I’m not an expert on this, but many teenagers go through a difficult stage and one whose mother died when he was a baby and whose father is in prison needs lots of support from family and professionals.
It’s not clear whether his father is in prison for just a few months or for years.
You must seek help from social services, the school and CAMHS (Child and Adult Mental Health Services). Perhaps there is a way that he could live with you part time (rather than feel he has been rejected) but have a skilled carer/mentor to share much of the caring in some way?
Perhaps there are charities that could help? He should be having support in making prison visits to maintain his relationship with his father in the long term.
What a difficult situation for you and for your grandson.
I do hope you find the support you need Lucy.

MissAdventure Sun 16-Sep-18 16:59:42

I'm sure that for as long as you are seen to be managing (even if you aren't) you'll be left to cope alone.
Contact social services and tell them how much of a struggle it is, as they are obliged to help a child who would otherwise be in care.
Good luck!

BlueBelle Sun 16-Sep-18 16:56:47

Not sure if this will show

loopyloo Sun 16-Sep-18 16:29:38

Get all the help you can. Go and talk to the school. Talk to your gp and social services. Flag up that you need help and advice. It sounds as if he needs special residential services.

Bridgeit Sun 16-Sep-18 15:06:13

Are you able to sit with him & have a proper conversation about how he feels about the whole situation ? He is badly in need of counselling, does Social services provide this or any back up for you? If he is already past accepting any help ( if there is any available) it will only become more difficult, you certainly should not be thrown in the deep end without any support from social services,they are letting you both down if they are just leaving you to get on with it. Good foster care is probably the way forward, best wishes big hugs, it’s a very difficult situation & if you became unwell he would then be moved on to social services anyway. You have done your best .

OldMeg Sun 16-Sep-18 14:46:45

Sad though it is, you simply cannot have this boy living with you. If he swears at you and stays out late he is beyond control. Had you known each other better or had a closer relationship then that would be a different matter, but he is a virtual stranger to you.

His father is in jail for assault and this boy is already showing signs of aggressive behaviour towards other children. You might be next.

Take your life back. Look after your husband by visiting him when you can and look after yourself.

I heard of a very similar situation recently from a family friend and, they too had to give up on a grandchild who simply would not meet them half way.