Blog – Foster Care Attachments.
While James (name changed) was at school I received a phone call from his Social Worker. Mum was booked in to a rehabilitation centre starting in two weeks’ time.
The rehabilitation was for 6 weeks in which time she would be tested daily to ensure she was drug free. If she came through successfully then, strictly speaking, there would be no barrier to James returning home. She asked how I felt about that. I replied that I knew all along that James would return home one day so it wasn’t a surprise. She said that she would visit to chat to James.
After the call I sat and thought through the whole situation. I’m sure anyone who has fostered has been in this situation, the young person is flourishing, doing well at school, really getting on with life and now they are returning to a home environment where, maybe, they won’t get the same things that they have become accustomed to.
It’s difficult for the young person, the carer and the parent. The parent isn’t likely to have the means to provide for the young person in the same manner as the carer. I sat and thought about the great strides that James had made. He was doing very well at school and in his social life.
It wouldn’t be practical to carry on playing for the team he had just joined as the distance was prohibitive. He would lose touch with the friends he had made, including Paige, and he wouldn’t have the stable home environment behind him.
I’ve worked with young people who just want to go home regardless of the change of circumstances they would experience and I can understand that. But James had been quite outspoken with Mum saying that she had never really cared about him.
I decided that I wouldn’t mention any of this and I just kept quiet about it. The conversation could be had at another time, when his Social Worker was in attendance. I called my Supervising Social Worker just to put them in the picture and they asked to be updated when the meeting would be so they could attend.
James got home in a great mood as it was training night and he felt more at home at the club now he had made his mark with his goal scoring antics of the previous Saturday. I dropped him down there about 6:45 and collected him about 8:30. He was shattered but happy.
He had a game, the following Saturday, against another local non-league team’s youth side, and he was delighted to have been selected. He had all the arrangements sorted with regards to drop off times etc. We got home and I cooked him some scrambled eggs on toast as he’d only had a sandwich when he got home from school.
We sat and watched football on the telly and James was very excitable. He made us both a cuppa and he then went to bed at about 10pm. I heard him chatting to Paige for about 15 minutes and then he must have dropped off. I had a hard job getting off to sleep.
I’ve often heard of carers being accused of being too ‘attached’ to a placement but it’s difficult not to sometimes when you are caring for a young person 24/7. Anyway, I eventually dropped off.
Fosterman – A Simply Fostering Blogging Foster Carer.