I need help
Hi, I am new here. This is my first posting. We recently took in 3 foster children. We have no children of our own and when we started with the foster care system, we said we wanted one or two. We are wanting to foster to adopt. Our worker asked us if we would be willing to take 3. We talked it over and decided we could handle it. We were told the children had no exceptionalities. We thought we could handle 3 normal kids at once. Well, they are here, and I am so SO overwhelmed. I just want to lay in bed and cry every night. The oldest girl had ODD and is on 3 medications (we didn't know this till after we took her in). The youngest are twins-a boy and girl. The girl has major issues with her temper and has thrown her dinner when she doesn't get her way, pushed the dinner table across the room and has had days where she screams from the moment she comes into the house. They've only been here 3 weeks. I've made positive behavior charts for them, schedule charts, etc. I just feel so overwhelmed. I feel like I've made a mistake and I wish we had taken fewer children. This is our first experience, and these children are supposed to be foster to adopt. I don't know if I can do it. I feel so stressed, I don't find myself bonding to them. I've called the older girl's counselor and she has never returned my call. The boy tries to hump his sisters when they are alone in a room even for a moment. I feel like I have no support from DHR and I feel like I was misled on their issues. I am totally unprepared for this.
How old are they?
Is this their first time in care?

I'm so sorry you were mislead :mad:
but maybe with a little more info some of us in here can give you some advise ....
It is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed when you go from having no kids to 3 kids with behavior issues. As pp stated let us know the ages and maybe some of us can over you guidance, advice or share some of our experiences with you. I felt the same way a year ago.

I went from having 1 child to 4 and the ages were newborn(drug exposed), 2 (terrible 2's) and 5 with serious behavior issues and my Biological child adjusting to it all. It was a nightmare and I felt tired and overwhelmed but I made it. You can do this! Were here for you. You can pm if you need to talk.
Thank you guys so much for your replies. Their ages are 6 (will be 7 in a couple weeks) and 4 year old twins (a boy and girl). Thank you for the replies.

This is not their first time in care. They were with a foster family just over a year before they came to us. Before that, I'm not sure, but they've had the same social worker almost 3 years.

I was told by a friend who used to work for DHR that I should have received an ISP (Individualized Service Plan) from their worker, but I haven't. I feel trapped and my anxiety is through the roof. :mad:
I'm so sorry you're going through this! My advice to you is to annoy the heck out of both your caseworker and any counselors that are/have been on this case. It sounds like your kiddos have serious behavior issues, not to mention the recent trauma of being moved from a home that they'd been in for quite a while. You should be getting support and the kids should be in some sort of therapy. Especially since this is meant to be a permanent placement. Parent-child interactive play therapy really helped my husband and I bond with our 3 year old. It also has helped us work with him on specific behaviors.
Oh good grief! They just set you up for failure. Taking 3 kids who have been in foster care for so long and giving them to brand new foster parents is a recipe for disaster.

The boy trying to hump the girls is a huge red flag, which to me means they have been involved in some SA or seen that behavior in another home. Kids with these behaviors need to be either placed alone or kept in line of sight at all times(which can be hard with 3 kids). Without knowing the history, the other two kids are at constant risk.

They should have told you before placement that the child was on medications. This means they knew(because the kids have been inc are), but tried to hide that info from you. If they hid this, what else have they not told you about them??

You should have been given a file with all the information about the children from day one outlining their medications, placement history etc. If it were me, I would call the case worker and tell her you want all the info about them right now. You need extreme support right now in order to continue to care for them and you need to demand that as well and bug the heck out of that counselor until you get the response you need.
I agree with pp. Sadly this seems to happen all the time..
Brand new fp getting cases like this without any kind of disclosure.
I really don't know what to tell you.....I'm just sorry this is happening to you and your household.
In addition to annoying the heck out of your CW, your CW's suppervisor, and maybe even the next one, the counselor, the counselor's suppervisor?, also think about giving a call to your LW or someone else in the office you know and like. I loved our LW, and have come to find all of them are very nice and helpful. Ours seem to have more years of experience.

Also, I would look for a babysitter (or two) one day a week. This is for you. It is amazing what a couple hours of quiet time can do for you. It took me a couple hours at first for my BP to go down. An hour or two of babysitting would not have been enough. None of the kids were in school at first, which made it even harder on me.

Even if you can't get a babysitter for all of them, even having two our of three gone for a while will make it seem so much easier.

If you can, get up before the kids. This will give you some time in the morning to start off in quiet and get a head start on breakfast, meditate/quiet time, get dressed, etc.

I think you are doing a great job so far. Having a schedule is a great thing. Once we added the "get dressed and beds made before breakfast" and "get ready for the day before you play" to ours, several regular arguments in the mornings were no longer arguments. They were things the kids had control over.

If they respond to positive behavior charts, good. We have learned that we needed to adjust it somewhat since they couldn't wait very long for a response/reward. We have "dessert" twice a day. If you have good behavior you get "dessert". This may be yogurt, apple sauce, chocolate, cookies, a small piece of candy, a tic tac, etc. Basically anything we don't have normally. As long as we call it "dessert" they go for it.

If dinner gets thrown then I may give that child one thing at a time. This would mean less to clean up for you, if it does get thrown, and less wasted food. How about paper plates and plastic ware so it doesn't get broken. So many meals not thrown = the privilege of "real" plates (plastic) and utensils. It may even be that this child gets PB&J, veggie sticks, etc. instead of the meal everyone else has. The reason, "if you throw you meal then you are showing me you can't handle having the privilege of nicer foods. To gain back the privilege of the food the rest of us are eating, your plate needs to not be thrown for X days/meals." Say this at the beginning of the meal, or even before, with a calm, very matter of fact voice. The ball is now in her court. You are giving nutritious foods, not denying meals, etc. Of course, I would send an email to your CW, or a letter to your CW and CW's sup. saying what you are doing, why, and how the kid can earn back having the same meal as everyone else.

I also found that t.v. resulted in bad behaviors if given in the morning. That is reserved for after quiet/nap times, which are right after lunch. I get to choose the first movie then they each get a choice(we only have two kids) or one gets to choose then and one after supper. Of course, this didn't work at first as they wouldn't watch any t.v.

I also enjoyed going outside with them, once they stopped running off from me. (That was something else we had to work on the first month or two.) The housework didn't get done, but everyone was getting into less trouble for the most part.

Though I found these things work for us, they don't work for all kids. My nephew wouldn't respond to these same things because he isn't the same as my (foster) kids. It will take a bit of trial, but you will start to find things that work for you.

Also, it may be that one kid will need to be moved or that you will have to learn to keep a particular kid with you all the time. It takes longer, but there are many things a kid can help you with or do near you. Color pictures, playdough, dust rag (they not only dust with these), cars, legos, books to read (ones you don't care if they get harmed, like from goodwill), etc. There have been times that being with me meant right beside me. Other times, it just means in the same room as me. You are the boss, you get to decide. Just try to be consistant. Being "fair" doesn't mean giving each kid the same thing, but giving each kid what they need.

In all things, remember, you are the one in charge and you are not alone. We all really do understand. Keep coming back and asking questions.
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