Parents of children in care never fail to amaze me. I am sympathetic to the reasons they have for having children taken into care.
A lot of cases are around various addictions which, I can imagine, are difficult to live with. But I’ve also looked after children from a background where the parents simply don’t care and are extremely selfish.
Take the Bryant family (name changed).
Mum decided she couldn’t cope with the 4 children she had so she approached Social Services to have the children taken into care. It turned out that Mums new partner didn’t appreciate having someone else’s kids around so they hatched a plan to have them taken into care. The children were told, as were we, that this would be just a week’s stay while Mum sorted herself out.
However when the Social Worker tried to return the children she refused to take them and the children were returned to us. They stayed with us for over 5 years! In the meantime Mum went on to have children with her new partner in the full knowledge of the children in care, who were devastated. So it pays to expect the unexpected!
James (name changed) had been a chirpy young man since the discussion around Mum and him living with family members had crashed and burned. He seemed settled in placement and was enjoying the fact of having proper meals and a structured day. We had a Zoom meeting with his form teacher who gave James some work to do which he sent via email.
To my surprise James sat did all the work with no prompting or input from me. It took about three hours for him to complete the work, scan it and return it to his teacher. As a reward we went over the local park for a kick about and get some exercise.
James had told me that he would love to visit a gym, not to work out necessarily, but just to look around and maybe watch other people. So I took him to mine, which had just reopened after lockdown, and I showed him around and showed him how the machines worked.
We then watched one of the power lifters going through her training routine and he was amazed at the weights she was lifting.
She challenged him to try to move the weight and, obviously, he couldn’t. We both teased him and then James and I left, via Sports Direct and a Hoody, and returned home.
When we returned home there was a message from my Supervising Social worker to call. So I left James to the Playstation while I made the call.
The SSW wanted to pay a visit the following week just for a natter and a catch up. We booked a day and time and I went back to James who was destroying aliens, busily, in the front room.
Annoyingly he turned down my offer of a game of FIFA as I had beaten him the evening before and he could be quite competitive. So I left him conquering the universe whilst I went to make dinner.
A Blogging Foster Carers Diary.