News & Advice

When Foster Care Works

Life changes. In a blink of an eye.
If I’ve learnt anything over the course of the last two months, it’s that life, the trajectory on which we anticipate being, the future we think we have planned, is not set in stone.
It’s made me think deeply about the fortune i have in the networks around me, neither vast nor necessarily well connected, but vested in the support I need in those moments of despair.
You know those moments where you just can’t anymore. The minute of total overwhelm post being needed every second of every day and feeling like you just cannot hold on any longer.
Those feelings of extreme helplessness when the demands of work and life and parenting feel like they’re pulling you in so many different directions that you don’t know where to collapse.
And in having a one person to hold me in those moments, I am reminded with stark clarity, of the impossible circumstances that face those parents who don’t have that single fail safe in just one other person.
And I weep for the reality within our own home- the daily reminders of families shattered by single acts of stupid desperation, in isolated moments of helplessness.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it over and over and over again... we believe in first families. We hold the sanctity of the biological family in high esteem and I will go to the ends of the earth to do what i can to support any family who is even vaguely interested in staying together as a unit. Where it is possible, children belong with their families.
This is something made so incredibly difficult by much of the bureaucracy and disinterest shown by social services, in place to support children and families. In fact, getting children back post removal is a seemingly impossible mountain I’ve seen few families successfully climb- not for lack of will, but certainly for lack of resource, lack of knowledge and lack of interest and support by the very institutions intended to hold them up.
But this ain’t the story of this social worker.
This won’t be the story of our precious boy.
And it won’t be the tale of this family.
Because for a whole dang year a family has worked tirelessly behind the scenes.
And for 12 whole months a social worker hasn’t tired of my cries.
And for more than 365 days we’ve fought every single step of the system to ensure this precious child DOES NOT END UP IN INSTITUTIONALISED CARE.
And tomorrow, after 64.5 weeks apart, against everything that any person could throw at us, tomorrow we see a little family meet up again.
Tomorrow we start the delicate journey of reinstating togetherness.
Tomorrow, after a little human has counted the weeks, and days and hours and seconds, a family will reunite in our home.
We’ve all done stupid things.
We’ve all made crap mistakes.
We’ve all regretted decisions we’ve fallen into.
But not all of us have felt the wrath of a justice system, the double jeopardy created by poverty overladen with so many other factors.
Imagine if one stupid act today cost you 64.5 weeks of your family life.
Imagine if those on the other end were eager to see you fail.
Just imagine the heartbreak.
In less than 24 hours, a special miracle is going to unfold in this home. And of all the things I’ve achieved in my life, this kinda feels like one of the most important.
Tomorrow, sweet child, you start your journey home.
I couldn’t be more proud of everyone involved in this story. I couldn’t be more delighted at the idea of this system having served you for this time.
 - Tiffini
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