A decision about what? Before we launch off, let’s refine that question a bit.
There is often reporting in the press of children trying to juggle the needs of both parents after a marriage breakdown. Yes, you heard right – the children often do the juggling – emotions, loyalty, sheer tiredness, change of homes. Unfortunately the decision often seems to pay little regard to what the children want. ‘But they are children’, you say? ‘They are too young to know what’s best for them’.
The family circumstances may have changed, but often the adults cling ferociously to their rights and their status. It is behind many custody battles in the courts, and sometimes an objective reading of it shows clearly that the child is coming off worst.
Dealing with expectations is not uncommon in dealing with birth families.
It’s not often that fostering and children in care, with all the privacy constraints that appropriately go with it, can be so open. If you are thinking of fostering, or are a carer, Australian Story provides a very detailed and personal view of children in care from the perspective of all parties.
Caroline Jones interviews Yael Abraham (23-03-09):
So, access for a child in care is all about the child, right? You might go along, but you take a back seat. After all, they aren't related to you.
Some sound advice from a wise worker resonated with us. We think it can contribute to a child's wellbeing in any placement, long or short term. She talked about the importance of maintaining the relationship between foster family and birth family. That is, the adults in the relationship.
She said that foster and birth parents should connect in some way.
While we’re on the subject of weight, we can tell you that on the face of it this article made us choke over our low fat breakfast cereal.
The first paragraph reads ‘SEVERELY obese children should be notified to child protection authorities, and even taken into care, if their parents are unwilling or unable to help them lose weight, experts have argued.’
This UK couple was told they cannot adopt because the husband is classed as ‘morbidly obese’. This is tricky territory, so we will tread carefully.
The husband acknowledges he is ‘too fat’. The local authority states ‘The council's adoption service has a legal responsibility to ensure that children are placed with adopters who are able to provide the best possible lifelong care’.
We get to play both sides of the debate on this blog. So here they are.