This one's to throw out there to the foster-blogosphere: What do you do when your foster kids threaten to make false abuse allegations against you? It seems to come with the territory with older foster kids, from what I hear. I want to hear how you deal with this.
I have to say that it really freaks me out when, during tantrums, Big Guy threatens to tell CPS we're abusing him. This only happens when he gets mad at us and has a massive tantrum (he becomes like a totally different kid during these tantrums). He learned some time before he entered foster care that you could theaten someone by saying you'd report them for abuse. He seems to understand that CPS is who you should tell. He's so naive and immature, and didn't come into care due to an abuse allegation, so it's pretty clear to us that someone must have told him that he could get grownups in trouble this way. Being a foster parent to an older kid is scary. It's scary partly because you hear warning stories about how it's a matter of when you'll get an allegation made against you, not if.
As much as I know that Big Guy's therapist, caseworker, etc. think we're doing a great job and respect us and don't suspect us of abusing him... if he made an allegation they'd be obligated to investigate, and that investigation alone could be very traumatic for all of us. I know people it's happened to, and even when they discover that the allegation was BS, it turns peoples' lives upside down. We had to have a conversation tonight with Big Guy about how lying is not okay, and I finally let him know that if he lied and told someone we were hurting him, he might be removed and never allowed to see us again... and reminded him he wouldn't be sent back to mommy, which when he's mad at us is probably what he'd like. I had tried for so long to not say anything like that, but I think it's time he understand how serious it is for him to lie about something like this. He is not a liar. This kid really can't seem to lie. But you never know what he might say when he gets mad enough at us, and it's just so scary to think that not only we would pay the price... he would pay the price. We reiterated the importance of honesty. We emphasized that we would never hurt him and we don't believe in hitting children (and reminded him of our anger that he was beaten by relatives) and told him if we ever did hit him he should tell somebody, so that he'd understand that we're serious about kids being safe. I hope we dealt with this the right way. I can't ignore it any more. As usual, we are writing e-mails to caseworkers and therapists to let them know what he said - I make sure to constantly have them document his threats.
By the way, when did Big Guy make the most recent and by far the most serious threat of making a false allegation? Mere hours after he told us for the first time, out of the blue, "I want to stay with y'all forever. I don't want to have to leave."