Foster carer- I think I'm going to be up all night


We have a 6 year old girl placed with us, she’s been with us since March. She went bed 15 minutes ago but is just crying lay in bed as she’s “scared” (she won’t tell me why she’s scared). A few months back this exact same thing happened and she was awake all night.

Oh bless her, has she got a night light? Perhaps listening to music or story CD or a story on the insight timer might help her settle and you can get some sleep too.


Do you have a sleeping bag and a torch. Allow the child to take responsibility for the items. Say it’s to make her feel safe. And she can only have a book to read with the torch. Until she falls a sleep. Obviously a cherished cuddly toy. You could also read a story with her and let her hold the torch.

If you have no sleeping bag try to get her to wrap her sheet/duvet closed to her body.

I am an ex foster carer of twenty years.

This process always help with new arrivals.

Has there been recent family contact.


We did all of this last night but unfortunately she was awake all night. She even had her cherished/comfort blanket.

She saw family during the day yesterday!

Good morning Amy

As looking after - looked after children is complicated. Because foster carers don’t always have full histories on children being placed. Nether do local Authority is a case of a process of illumination. Which I’m sure you are more than aware.

As you keep you daily diary you will build a picture. On the things you have tried. If a child is referred to a therapist this will be of great help.

I suggest you speak with your supervising social worker.

You could also try …

You are doing the best you can and reaching out for assistance. Unfortunately, there will be time you will never find the answer. But to opt for the best solution. i.e. look for how many hours sleep could you live with in the long term. There could be many reasons the children wants all your attention. There is a genuine reason for the disruption to sleep. The child is unable to adequately articulate what they need.

Speak to your supervising social worker and the child’s social worker

Make sure you note the behaviour in the daily log as it will help you to see if there is a pattern

Good evening,

I am aware of that yes.

I will try and speak with my social worker and the child’s social worker tomorrow.

I know there will be times when I never find the answer.

I know there is a genuine reason for the disruption to speep.

Sorry I didn’t mean for any of that to come across as blunt or rude

I am going to speak to the social worker’s. I am noting everything in the daily log

Hi Amy

Sorry I didn’t mean for any of that to come across as blunt or rude

You haven’t been.

You are doing a good job - fostering is one of the most difficult professions but one of the most rewarding.