Helen’s Fostering Blog
Our first week was a busy one, my poor feet never touch the ground. I would go hours without having time to eat and I certainly didn’t sleep very well.
Beth was off school sick on the Monday, not a good start, but she had been sick the night before and whilst I was pretty sure it was due to the stress of moving in with a new family I couldn’t be certain she wasn’t actually unwell and lets face it I had only known her for just over 2 days.
We had a visit at home on the Monday from the children’s IRO (Independent Reviewing Officer) as they had a LAC Review coming up the following Monday. A LAC Review is a meeting with all those that are concerned with the care and care plan of the children, they will look at how things are going, and what changes there might be in the future.
This did give us an opportunity to meet the team involved with the children and also meet their Mum and Nan.
The following day I had both of the children’s PEP Meetings, which is an education based meeting held for children who are in the Local Authority Care. This was then followed by the Placement Planning meeting.
A Placement Planning meeting sets out why the placement was chosen and how the placement will contribute to meet the child/children’s needs. They also discussed the children’s history and explained their other family members.
The children we were placed with had 1 sister and 3 brothers. The children’s Social Worker was also making more regular visits and therefore visited on Wednesday and the children had their monthly contact with their Mum re-arranged for the Thursday as she had been too unwell to see them the week previously. I also had to get both Beth and Harry registered with our local Doctors, Dentist and Opticians.
The children’s previous carers had clearly been smokers as all of the children’s belongings smelt of smoke. Being an ex-smoker myself I was very sensitive to this smell and hated it with a passion. I therefore decided I would wash and iron all of their cloths and as many of their belongings that I could.
There was so many people I had to start to get to know and remember the names of teachers, family members, Social Workers and anyone who was involved in the children’s care. I had to get to grips with working with a new database for my recordings, my god this took up a lot of time.
I am not going to lie by the Friday night I wondered if I had bitten off more than I could chew.
I recall that I had lost nearly half a stone, I was completely exhausted and sat with my husband that evening and cried my eyes out. I was unsure if this really was the path for us. It was a horrible feeling because already I knew I was invested in this two lovely, sweet and funny children, but I had not envisaged the amount of meetings and paperwork that came with them.
I just had to hope that somehow it would get easier and that I could at least have time to catch my breath the following week!
Helen – A Blogging Foster Carer