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Fostering Alice Blog

Tuesday

I popped into the city this morning to do a little shopping, whilst I was in the queue at John Lewis I saw some old friends Fiona and Peter. Charlie and I went to University with them over twenty years ago. I hadn’t realised that they had moved to the other side of the city to where we live. To be honest it was a blast from the past. We haven’t really seen each other over the last twenty years, I kept thinking about what they were like back then, and then thinking how different Charlie and I are to those kids we were back in college!! So much has changed, careers, moving house (several times), having families, fostering life and so on. It was good to hear about their life and how much they have been up to over the last two decades. As the queue quickly got to the tills, we decided to head to the cafe to grab a coffee.

Turns out Fiona and Peter, had been considering fostering for some time. They had no idea we had been long term foster carers for over five years. They had just finished their assessment with their local social services, and had just been given the draft copy of their Form F. It seems like a lifetime ago that Charlie and I were doing our assessment – felt like we were having our lives scrutinised! They shared how cathartic it had been for them – to see their lives on paper. We laughed about how there are never any small talk conversations with social workers – everything is written down, nothing is hidden. They are going to panel in less than a month, so we spent time sharing with them how it had been for us, trying to reassure them that their social worker must have full confidence in them to get them this far.

I remember how nervous I was before our panel. Charlie less so, he was much more philosophical about the whole thing. He is very good at thinking out loud and answering questions on the spot, he is also used to talking in front of lots of people. I on the other hand, am an internal processor and can find it difficult to articulate what I am thinking on the spot. When I speak at meetings – like LAC (Looked After Child) Reviews or education or health meetings, I am well prepared and often well rehearsed, I am living the things I am talking about. Panel is another thing altogether, whilst you can guess what might come up in questions, you really have no idea what they might pick up from your Form F.

Fiona and Peter seem much more prepared than we were. It is reassuring to hear how well their social worker has prepared them so far. As we parted company, we agreed to stay in touch. It will be good to hear how they get on next month. I have a feeling though that we wont see them much, as we both have such busy lives. I wonder when we will bump into them next and what changes will have taken place at that point!!

A Less Ordinary Fostering Family Blog.