"Visitation has been an unexpectedly stressful part of fostering.
We have a 17 month old who had two visits per day which was stressful for all involved. It meant she had to be woken up early and did not get to nap which is difficult for a child of that age, and I had to be available the entire day in case visits ended early or the biological parents did not show up for the visit and the child needed to be returned home early. We requested that the visit supervisor called us first if she was returning early but our requests were disregarded. I could not even go to the grocery store or make an appointment in case the visit ended early and the child was being returned home.
One of our older children suffers from anxiety. It is so important for him that he knows ahead of time what to expect and not be surprised by a visit supervisor picking him up at an unexpected time or place and we have communicated this numerous times. Despite this, he has been picked up after school without any advanced notice and had to miss sports practice. And, he has had to miss friends’ birthday parties he had been planning on because of last minute changes we were not notified about. This is hard for any child to cope with, but for a child with anxiety it is absolutely overwhelming.
We try so hard to advocate for these children, but feel like we are powerless to help and our input is not valued."