Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Activity: Step Six

If you are just joining in - go here first, and then Step 2 , Step 3 , Step 4 and Step 5


I really hate to tell you this.

They looked EVERYWHERE - but they just couldn't find #9 when they were packing up your things.

Are you sure you had them when you moved there?

I will ask them to look again, but there isn't much I can do. You should probably take it off your list and we can try to get a replacement okay?

So, how are things going here? The other people who live here say that you are doing pretty well. They seem really happy to have you here... they've been waiting for someone like you for a long time.

And also, since you are going to be staying here, you may have noticed that these people aren't #6 like you. Its not really that big of a deal - you're all people!

You'll keep being number 6, but you might be the only one around here. And the people you're staying with don't really know much about being #6 - but they'll be patient while you learn how they do things.

Unfortunately, there isn't room for your siblings here - so they are going to stay somewhere else. I'm trying to talk to the people they are staying with... but I can't promise that you are going to get to see them very often.

And, I know this may be hard to understand, but they won't legally be siblings anymore. Please cross #1 off your list.

It looks like you are going to be staying here for a long time - maybe forever. Wouldn't it be great if you didn't have to move again? Maybe you could add the names of some of the other people that live with you now to your list!

Wouldn't that be nice?


My list now

  1. Jason, Leah

  2. Mom

  3. God-mother

  4. Church

  5. Home

  6. Caucasian/Irish/Dutch

  7. Christian

  8. Dancing

  9. Photos

  10. J.B. - close family friend

  11. Kass

This scenario is all too familiar to a foster child.

It may seem extreme, but not only do these things happen to many foster children - they happen over and over and over again. Some of those blanks get filled in and crossed off many, many times.

Please take a minute to leave a comment below and share your thoughts about this exercise. I'll be sharing mine in a post tomorrow morning.


  1. wow.

    this was incredible... you did a great job with the timing of it, too.
    many times i didn't have my list with me. this reminded me of how many times i have dogged on clients on not having their homework or whatever i've assigned them to do.

    no wonder children growing up in the foster care system have a negative view of foster care... and people in general

  2. I come from two sides at this. On one hand, a child arrived in our care late at night last week. She had only the clothes she was wearing. Actually, that's exactly the way our last three foster children have arrived. Wearing only their school uniform and having only the books that they had had at school that day. Of course, it is going into the weekend - noone around the social services offices. We, as foster carers, have to answer the questions that we don't have answers to and respond to the sobbing into the pillow through the night.
    I have seen this happen first-hand. What to do? We can only do what we can. We can't answer the questions and we are not replacing real family - just a safe port of call in a sea that is ever so rough through these times. I wish it didn't have to be so. But sometimes it is. That's the thing about life. It isn't always how we would like it to be but we piece together what we can with the tools we have.
    I think I have an embryonic post forming in my head actually so don't want to waffle on too much - I just have been struck enormously by how much more I have learnt as a foster carer in conjunction with what I have learnt as a social worker..
    These exercises are useful of course for generating empathy but sometimes the lists aren't full in the first place and there aren't any people to look up to or trust in some of the lives of those we work with.


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