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It’s good to talk

Fulltime Foster Carer - Harriet author of: A Less Ordinary Family

It’s good to talk

As the old BT adverts used to say “It’s good to talk”.  I’m not sure spending the entire day on the phone trying to sort out Alice’s new Eduction Plan for school was what BT had in mind!

For some reason Alice has been ‘re-banded’ in the new paperwork, and I am trying to find out why, as this has big implications.  Her needs have not changed but there remains a discrepancy of almost £2,000.  If I agree to the new plan then she will lose this money towards her support in school.

So I go into phone call overdrive.  I contact the Special Education Needs Co-ordinator, the Head of the Special Education Needs department at the Local Education Authority (LEA) along with her Social Worker and the Looked After Team in Education at Social Services.  My head is swimming and I feel like I am going around in circles.  It’s hard to keep track of the people I am on the phone with.  It’s even harder to keep track of their ‘promises’.  Sometimes, it is good to remember that you can only do the things that you are able, you cannot do the job of other people.

Sometimes you just need to accept, however annoying, that some people do not do the things they say they are going to do to help you.  I end the day employing another form of communication – writing to the LEA expressing my concerns about the new plan. Carrier pigeon will be next.  I can now only hope that the other professionals involved will get involved and resolve the issues.  There is only so much negotiating I can do!

Meanwhile another negotiation was taking place.  Having gone to school in a perfectly good mood, Alice decided that she was too tired too work, do PE, and refused to take her antibiotics.  After thirty minutes of negotiating, her teacher promised her a golden token which would mean she would get a prize if she took her medicine.  Funnily enough she then took her medicine. She was now the proud owner of a water pistol which she claimed later from the prize box.  I however was not so impressed with this method of negotiating.  At tea time, she refused again to have her medicine.  She clamped her mouth shut and point blank refused.

After thirty minutes of tears and screaming she probably had about half the dose.  The rest of it was over the carpet.  There was no way she was taking any more.  Negotiations had broken down.  It is really difficult when she wont take the very thing she needs to recover.  It might be “good to talk”, but it’s also good to recognise when you’ve reached the limits of all you can do.  Tomorrow is another day and a fresh start.

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