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friends friend been moved to foster care

Hi Sam

A friend of a friend has been moved to foster care. She's bullied in school because she smells bad. I treat her nicely but I just wanted to know how I can support her and make her feel better about being moved to foster care as she wasn't told anything, she just got taken out of last lesson yesterday and was shown where she would be staying until a new family is found for her. A student support teacher gave her a bag with pyjamas, toiletries etc. If you've got any tips on how to help her without coming across as offensive as this is a difficult time for her. Thank you.

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Sam

Hi there,

Going into care can feel differently for different people. But it can help for them to know that there’s somebody there for them to talk to if they want. You could tell her that you’re there if she wants to talk. Tell her about ChildLine, and explain that we can be there to listen whenever she wants to talk.

You might find it useful to look at our advice on helping a friend. You could organise things to do together. Or you could just meet up on a lunch break or after school for a chat. Perhaps you could check out with her whether there’s anything she’d like to do.

I’m concerned to hear that the girl is being bullied. It could help to let teachers know when you see the bullying happen so that she can have some support with this as well. It’s not okay for someone to bully another person for any reason, and schools have a responsibility to help pupils stay safe from bullying.

It’s really good that a support teacher has been helping out your friend’s friend. Everyone is different and that means that going into care affect each person differently. Some people miss their family members or things from home. Others are relieved to be living away from the family home. It’s a good idea to see how the person is feeling. Try not to assume how they might feel. 

If you’d like to talk more about how this situation is affecting you, remember that you can talk to a ChildLine counsellor any time. They’re always there to listen.
Thanks so much for writing to me about this. I think your letter will inspire others.

Take care,
Sam

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