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Fostering Blog – Alice

Thursday.

So that little more patience that I had at the start of the week has started to wear a little thin. I swear that child knows I’ve been extra patient and she is testing me to the limits. To be honest with children like Alice who have attachment disorder this kind of thing is not uncommon. I have spoken to many foster carers who say the same thing – it’s like they pick up on the slightest bit of goodwill and they use it against you and to break you. This is where Charlie and I play tag team – this was something we learnt at training a long time ago.

We have a signal for when we are finding it tough and then the other one swoops in and takes over. This can only work though when we are both around, and it is by no means fool proof – but sometimes it is the difference of whether I lose the plot or not. Today I felt pretty on the edge – so I call Charlie, give him the signal and off I go.

So far Alice is none the wiser with this and Charlie is able to start a whole new conversation. Her attention span is pretty short so she moves on pretty swiftly. This gives me a quick chance to have a tidy before the Social Worker comes for her Statutory Visit. We are usually down for four weekly visits, but somehow last months got missed and I certainly was not going to be the one to chase it. Stat visits on school nights are never great – Alice is usually tired, grumpy and hungry by the time she arrives. I am torn between the visit, sorting out Alice something to do so I can have a semi-private conversation, getting dinner ready and making sure Annie and Lauren are ok too.

The visits are pretty standard, the social worker spends some time with Alice – doing some kind of ‘play’ to see how she is feeling, I get a quick five minutes with her to have a catch up and then she’s off home or on to the next visit – always mentions something about the traffic being bad at that time. I know that the social workers have too many cases and they are really stretched, but sometimes it feels it would make more sense to have few visits – but higher quality, rather than lots of rushed visits, where really nothing happens and we don’t get to share how things really are.

Fortunately we have the LAC review fairly soon – which is a good time to try to get decisions made and catch up with how everything is really going!!

A Less Ordinary Fostering Family Blog.