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So the first couple of days with James (name changed) have gone well. We have a set routine which works for us both and he appears confident and quite happy.

We then get a phone call from my Supervising Social Worker (SSW) to say that Mum has decided that she would like some of contact with James. I had a chat with James about this and he seems a little unsure about contact stating the Mum probably won’t turn up. I reassure him and we make arrangements for the next day’s trip to South East London.

The drive to contact was very subdued. James had woken up and wasn’t his normal cheery self. I asked him how he felt about contact but he wasn’t very talkative so I didn’t press him on it.

We left in good time and hit the South Circular which, because of lockdown, was nice and quiet. We arrived in good time and were shown to the room by the contact centre staff.

James’ Social Worker turned up about 15 minutes before contact was due to start and we had a quick catch up before Mum was due to arrive, which was 10am. Apparently Mum had asked for financial assistance to attend the contact which had been granted.

So 10am came and went, as did 1015, 1030, 1045 and 1100. The Social Worker had tried to call Mum on about half a dozen occasions but the phone had gone straight into voicemail. So we decided to call it a day. James seemed resigned to the fact that Mum wasn’t going to turn up and has that kind of ‘told you so’ attitude all the way home.

So we finally got back about midday and James wanted a ‘time out’ in his room. I pottered about doing chores until James reappeared about an hour later. We had lunch and I asked him if he fancied a drive out somewhere. James made a joke about the drive not being to see his Mum and we had a laugh and he seemed back to his normal self. The rain started so we watched some football on telly for the afternoon and generally chilled out.

That afternoon I also took a call from the Social Worker. Mum had finally called. She claimed she had been running late but had no credit to call and explain. She asked for money to get credit for her phone. The Social Worker believes that this was all a ruse to get some more money from the Local Authority.

I mulled over whether to discuss this with James but decided against it. Later that evening James showed me his phone which displayed 10 missed calls from Mum.

So much for no credit!

James said he was thinking of blocking her but I convinced him otherwise. So a frustrating day finished on a positive note with a cheerful James enjoying dinner and taking responsibility for washing up, without being asked!

I didn’t tell him that I had to go back and rewash most of it.

Simply Fostering Blog – The reality of Foster Care.

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