My Fifteen Year Old Son Has Returned From Foster Care
I have bipolar disorder and my son was not a planned or wanted pregnancy, however when he was born I bonded with him normally and thought he was the best thing that ever happened to me.
My mother helped me raise him until the age of eight when she could no longer help very much and my bipolar disorder became worse. As a result of this my son ended up going into short and eventually long term foster care for six years, during which time we saw him for only six hours every two months.
My son had two long term foster placements which both broke down. In the last one he developed problems with his school attendance and this became so challenging for the family along with his argumentative ways that the placement came to a sticky end with him being placed into a temporary assessment unit near where I live.
His behaviour there presented a challenge for the staff who were also positive about his good qualities and personable nature at times. My son is intelligent, can be very charming and funny and his social skills are good...he knows how to get on and relate with different people.
Rather than be placed in another, permanent care home also in my locality, my son chose to come back to me. He is now ensconced in his room upstairs but seems so traumatized by his experiences in care and life in general that he doesn't want to go out, mix with friends etc. Also he simply doesn't have good friends in this locality any more because he was avoiding school while at the care home.
He has developed a pattern of sleeping much of the day away and playing on his X Box at night. He also watches YouTube etc on his laptop and listens to a lot of hip hop music.
I cook him the evening meal and he comes downstairs for that. This is the only real quality time I spend with him because of his current lifestyle choices.
I battle depression myself much of the time and try to minimize the effects on him, but this situation inevitably depresses me too at times. I have a partner who also has mental health problems and my son has begun to try and avoid his company.
I know my situation must sound pretty bad but please help me if you can.
Thank you for reading.