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The Modern Day Foster Carer- Part 5- How to deal with the end of a placement

Teenager (4) (1)

Part 5- ‘An ending can be a beautiful thing’

Embracing our vulnerability

‘Life is so busy and chaotic and we’re all so stressed, and it is really easy to just get caught up in your own challenges, learning to be sensitive to a child’s perspective, a child’s experience puts you in the best place to offer them parenting. It is important for a young person to be resilient but also flexible in a dynamic relationship so that all parties are learning and growing.'

Halima and Adam spoke about how they showed their vulnerability to their young man and how it allowed a reciprocating relationship and about how important it is to be open to moving boundaries.

‘I think being open to change is probably what has helped us. When there are problems and things to work through, it is just including everyone in that expectation. Courage doesn’t exist without vulnerability. In order to be courageous, embrace vulnerability, but not be scared of sharing that with your young person’. Vulnerability is also sometimes seen as a negative for professionals as you must maintain control. I think we’ve had a fortunate journey where we’ve found this balance and there’s a professional nature to care. We’re professional in the way we approach, but with our young man, who is experiencing serious vulnerability, we are vulnerable together with him, safeguarding him against his vulnerability. Through this, we have experienced joy and we’ve experienced love, and it’s a true connection’.

Halima and Adam have embraced their vulnerability and it has empowered them to advocate and fight for their young man and demand good for him.

Dealing with the end in a positive way

Halima and Adam’s discuss how the end of a placement can be hard. They speak about how difficult this has been but also managed to look at the future positively for them and their young man.

‘We’re close to the end of the formal nature of our relationship and endings are really sad and difficult. We are never taught how to process endings in life. We've almost gone full circle now compared to where we were, we were scared to face it. The uncertainty of it was really stressful, but now we feel empowered by it and it's not an end in total, it's an end to a chapter.’

Their aim has always been to show their vulnerability through this and have an open dialog about this with their young person.

‘Just because he doesn’t live with us anymore doesn’t mean we are not here, doesn’t mean we’re not accessible to him and part of his life. We’ve always tried to visualise a future in his life where we’re still there- but that this is a relationship for life. He is part of our family so it will change the dynamic of our family, and we will feel a loss with him moving out.’

Halima and Adam have done a lot of work with how to deal with endings in a positive way throughout the journey.

‘The support we’ve had from Nexus has allowed us to learn how to embrace that vulnerability and then you can see the beauty in it. An ending can be a beautiful thing and we want the best for him, so we must make it the best kind of ending we can, it’s going to be very different but exciting for him’. 

'We have had psychotherapy sessions and worked with our young man to make him feel confident enough to face the ending, we have practiced micro endings through practicing disconnecting and reconnecting. To an extent, we feel resilient, resilient enough to face it.’


See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4 & Part 6 of Halima and Adam's Story


Fostering stories


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  • Parent and Child
  • Young person
  • Siblings
  • Foster Carer
  • Birth child(ren)
  • Respite
  • Long-term fostering
  • Support

Date published

02 August 2023

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