I posted this blog entry back in April 2016 and it stirred up a firestorm of comments. Ignoring for a moment the comments posted by my friends - they were as you would expect friendly and supportive - there were very much two violently opposed "camps".
Some foster carers explained at considerably length why their birth family "needed" and were "entitled" to time on their own. Others criticised me for being ungrateful, without really explaining what I was supposed to be grateful for!
Against them was ranged the former foster kids who had experienced respite care first hand. They agreed with my opinions as did some of the foster parents who contacted me.
"When I was in foster care I was never taken on the annual family holiday. It hurt then, it hurts now and it will hurt for ever and ever. Instead I was dumped - I use that word because that is what it felt like - with people I hardly knew for two weeks respite care.
If you a teenager who is even fairly articulate you know exactly what "respite" means! It means temporary relief from something
Eventually the 2 weeks came to an end and I went back to my foster family. Just as I knew would happen they had returned home with loads of happy shared memories and photos. Of course the pictures were admired and some were put on show - and I left feeling excluded and marginalised and third rate."