Wednesday’s Fostering Blog
While we were away our post had accumulated. Our cat sitter had kindly put it all in a pile on our kitchen table. Yesterday I decided to tackle the paperwork, it was mainly a combination of junk mail and bank statements, however in the middle of it all was a letter that had arrived from the local authority contact centre. Alice has not had contact with her birth parents for 12 months, this has been for a number of reasons, but mainly because we were working towards ending face to face contact and heading to letterbox contact. We have felt for some time that seeing her birth parents was not really in her best interest. Birth parents had been pushing for more contact, we had held it at three times per year and definitely felt this was more than enough.
With no contact for a year we have been quite surprised that Alice has really talked about birth parents and certainly has not asked to see them. However, we have had a student social worker working with us recently and with her very limited experience she has decided that contact should continue for now. She has based this mainly on the fact that she allowed Alice to talk with her during her statutory visits in a role-play setting about birth parents. Her work with Alice has been less than helpful, however, there is very little we can do to stop this from happening. So probably as a result of her recommendations, a letter arrived today arranging contact for Alice with her birth parents.
We often find that decisions are made without consulting us even on a basic level, like whether we are even available! it is unfortunate that the date they have sent for contact is right in the middle of our family holiday. There have been occasions in the past where we have had to come home in the middle of holidays for appointments or contact, but on this occasion I will be putting my foot down and we will not be returning for this date. So today I will be contacting social services to let them know that this date is not convenient and furthermore after a year with no contact I feel that the social worker needs to come and prepare Alice for a visit, as we know this will bring turmoil to her and to our family as we pick up the pieces after contact.
There are times as foster carers when you have very little control of decisions that are being made but there are also times when you need to step in and advocate for your foster child sometimes you are the only voice of reason and you need to stand your ground. This is one of those times!
A Less Ordinary Family Fostering Blog