Monday’s Fostering Blog
It is fair to say that we have had a tough few weeks with Alice’s behaviour getting out of control. She is a bit like ticking time bomb – ready to go off at any time. Anything can trigger her, which has caused much tension in the household. There are definitely days and weeks in fostering when you feel out of your depth. This is definitely one of those weeks.
I was called by the school today to just “pop in” for a meeting with the SENCo (Special education needs coordinator). In my experience so far, it is never just a case of “popping in”. To be honest I was not at all surprised by the call. I know from the little that the teaching assistants have shared in Alice’s Home-School diary that some of the behaviours we have seen at home have been mirrored at school. We have been saying for sometime that she would sooner or later let her guard down at her new school and the “honeymoon” phase would naturally come to an end.
Well it seems like the honeymoon is well and truly over. The behaviours that they are seeing in school are not dissimilar to that which we see at home. However I was more than a little surprised to hear that the teaching assistants have been taking huge pity on her and giving her over an hour an a quarter to eat her lunch. This has meant she has started to miss afternoon lessons. When trying to talk about this, I could see that the teaching assistant was feeling a bot emotional – and said she just wanted Alice to have the chance to finish her lunch.
I cannot help but put my head in my hands. We have had four and a half years of controlling behaviour, particularly around food. We have been working closely with the Clinical Psychologist and Dietician and the agreed plan is 30 minutes for meals. 30 minutes. No more. Everyone agrees that Alice has no issue with the food itself. Its not about food, its about control. She eats everything. She chooses however what to eat at different times and for different people. We discovered very early on that she doesn’t actually eat any more if you give her longer. She just strings you along. So I had to remind the staff of what is clearly written in the care plan. It is there for a reason. Sometimes it feels like you take a step backwards – and that’s with the people who are supposed to be professionals.
As for the rest of the behaviour – it is certainly beyond my skill set, and beyond the skill set of the very capable staff who look after her. We decide it is now time to call a team around the child (TAC) meeting. Watch this space…
A Family Less Ordinary Foster Care Blog