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Attachments Blog

Blog – Foster Care Attachments.

While James (name changed) was at school I received a phone call from his Social Worker. Mum was booked in to a rehabilitation centre starting in two weeks’ time.

The rehabilitation was for 6 weeks in which time she would be tested daily to ensure she was drug free. If she came through successfully then, strictly speaking, there would be no barrier to James returning home. She asked how I felt about that. I replied that I knew all along that James would return home one day so it wasn’t a surprise. She said that she would visit to chat to James.

After the call I sat and thought through the whole situation. I’m sure anyone who has fostered has been in this situation, the young person is flourishing, doing well at school, really getting on with life and now they are returning to a home environment where, maybe, they won’t get the same things that they have become accustomed to.

It’s difficult for the young person, the carer and the parent. The parent isn’t likely to have the means to provide for the young person in the same manner as the carer. I sat and thought about the great strides that James had made. He was doing very well at school and in his social life.

It wouldn’t be practical to carry on playing for the team he had just joined as the distance was prohibitive. He would lose touch with the friends he had made, including Paige, and he wouldn’t have the stable home environment behind him.

I’ve worked with young people who just want to go home regardless of the change of circumstances they would experience and I can understand that. But James had been quite outspoken with Mum saying that she had never really cared about him.

I decided that I wouldn’t mention any of this and I just kept quiet about it. The conversation could be had at another time, when his Social Worker was in attendance. I called my Supervising Social Worker just to put them in the picture and they asked to be updated when the meeting would be so they could attend.

James got home in a great mood as it was training night and he felt more at home at the club now he had made his mark with his goal scoring antics of the previous Saturday. I dropped him down there about 6:45 and collected him about 8:30. He was shattered but happy.

He had a game, the following Saturday, against another local non-league team’s youth side, and he was delighted to have been selected. He had all the arrangements sorted with regards to drop off times etc. We got home and I cooked him some scrambled eggs on toast as he’d only had a sandwich when he got home from school.

We sat and watched football on the telly and James was very excitable. He made us both a cuppa and he then went to bed at about 10pm. I heard him chatting to Paige for about 15 minutes and then he must have dropped off. I had a hard job getting off to sleep.

I’ve often heard of carers being accused of being too ‘attached’ to a placement but it’s difficult not to sometimes when you are caring for a young person 24/7. Anyway, I eventually dropped off.

Fosterman – A Simply Fostering Blogging Foster Carer.

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Blog | Footballing Star

Fostering Blog – Football Star.

So Saturday was match day and we have a very excited and very nervous young man. James (name changed) had packed and repacked his bag about 5 times and Id ironed his gear so that the creases could cut your skin. The venue is only a fifteen minute drive from home but James wanted to leave early so we were definitely on time.

Yet again, I wasn’t allowed to go in to watch the game so I dropped James at the gate and left. I could sense his nerves and I felt nervous for him. While he played I went and did some shopping. I bought lots of stuff that he liked so at least he had some comfort food if things hadn’t gone well or some celebratory food if it had been a good result.

I grabbed a coffee and sat outside in the sunshine after loading the shopping in the car. I reflected on James and how the ‘placement’ was progressing. I think it’s been a positive experience for James and that he had seen how he can progress in life, whatever happens in the future. I always worry about the young people I look after, how their life will progress when they go back home. It would be great to be able to keep in touch but, once the children return home, that very rarely happens.

It’s time to go and pick the young fella up and I feel nervous. I park in the stadium car park and wait for five minutes, no sign of him. I get out of the car and walk over to where the entrance is. There are a few parents waiting about so I wait with them.

One parent tells me that they won the game and another asks if I’m James’ Dad, I always nod in these circumstances, and he says that he had heard that James had been very good. So I felt relieved that at least the result was good.

The boys started filtering out and James was the last out, with a huge grin on his face. We walked to the car and he jumped on my back with his arms around my neck. WE got in the car and he told me about the game. He had, initially, been a substitute but one of the other boys was injured so James came on at half time with the score at 0-0.

James scored with his fourth touch! He went onto score again and his team won 2-0. James was beyond excited. The manager of the opposition was an ex professional and had shaken James’ hand and said he had played well.

The rest of the day was spent with James being very excited. He rand my sons to tell them both, he rang Paige and then he rang a couple of his mates.

So we ate all the good food and sat and watched football on the telly. He relived his goals on a number of occasions and also told me other things that had been said and done.

He sat in the garden and cleaned his boots and I put his kit in the wash. He wanted to go and watch his mates play on the Sunday but I felt that maybe we shouldn’t.

I didn’t know what kind of reaction he would get so we decided to have a lazy Sunday, may favourite type.

Fosterman – A Simply Fostering Blogging Foster Carer.

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Fosterman | A Day In The Life

Fostering Blog – Fosterman – A Day in The Life.

I am now fostering a football celebrity. Once he had told his old club that he was on the books of a non- league team then everyone was ringing him and asking him about it. So I thought I needed to sit down and have a chat with him on a couple of issues.

So I just explained that he needed to maintain all the friendships he had made from school and that they were important as they were friends that had supported him when he first came into care. Also I said that some of his old team mates may be jealous of what’s happened. Most importantly I told him that it mustn’t affect his school work. He nodded in agreement but looked a bit down so I told him I was proud of him and that he should enjoy the experience.

So we had a weekend free from football as his training was Tuesday and Thursday evening now. So we went along to watch his old team play on Saturday afternoon. A few of the parents asked why he wasn’t playing so James (name changed) told them.

Most of the parents seemed delighted for him but one seemed a bit peeved that’s James had been given this opportunity. He didn’t say anything to James or I but I overheard him saying to another Dad that he thought his son was a better player and why hadn’t his son been given an opportunity? So I had a quiet chat with him.

I told him that it wasn’t James’ fault he had been chosen as he had been selected by a Scout. Also I agreed that his son was a very good player but we didn’t make any of the decisions. He apologised for being out of order and he bought me a cup of tea to make up for it.

On Sunday James used his spare time to go to the local shopping centre with Paige. It gave me a rare thing called a free Sunday. The house was pretty tidy so I decided to take myself off to the gym for an hour. I regretted that later! After the gym I picked up some shopping and got home, made a coffee and put my feet up for a while.

James came back, with Paige, and we sat and watched a film. I ran Paige home and we got back and watched some football on the TV. James said he was going to get his school stuff ready so I told him that he would be the only one there as Monday was a Bank Holiday. James liked that idea!

On Monday we just had a lazy day. James surfaced about 11am and said he just wanted to do nothing as the weather was not too good. So we chilled, chatted and James got his kit ready for his first Tuesday night training session.

He cleaned his boots, checked his bag, 3 times, and made sure that he had everything that he needed in his bag.

So that was Monday pretty much sorted. We watched TV, enjoyed two football matches and had a very relaxing day.

Fosterman – A Simply Fostering Blogging Foster Carer.