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Fostering Blog | Girls and Fireworks

Fostering Blog

Our local Rotary Club hold a small fireworks display every year so James (name changed) and I decided to pay a visit.

It was all very social distancing and face masks but it made for an enjoyable evening, plus there was a barbeque, very important.

On the way home we chatted about what he wanted for Christmas and he asked what I wanted. I told him not to bother with me but he insisted on buying me something so I said I would think about it. He then asked how old I was when I had my first proper girlfriend. Obviously I asked why and he told me about this girl at school who he liked and he was thinking about asking her out.

So the rest of the evening was spent discussing girls and relationships. I pointed out that, due to lockdown, he wouldn’t be able to see her out of school anyway but he had thought about that and wanted to get to know her at school and then take her out on a date once lockdown was over. He had obviously put a lot of thought into the situation so I said I backed him and to see how it goes. Take it slowly and be nice to her.

I had a call from the Social Worker with some news. Mum had been arrested for shoplifting at her local supermarket and had ‘kicked off’ at the security guard. She had been charged with the original theft but also charged with assaulting the security guard as well. She had been bailed and had a court date in a couple of weeks.

We decided that we would not mention it to James. Apparently Mum had quite a lengthy criminal record and there was an outside chance that she would go to prison. We had quite a lengthy chat about James and she told me how well the placement was going and that her Manager was very impressed with how well he was progressing.

We agreed that it was a shame that more men were not involved in Fostering as some of these teenage boys would thrive in a situation where they had a male influence on a one to one basis. She scheduled in a visit, after lockdown and we said our goodbyes. I rang my Supervising Social Worker and gave an update about my conversation with James’ Social Worker. We also pencilled in a visit, after lockdown, to coincide with the Social Worker.

James came home very happy as the girl had agreed to go out with him and he had told her about the plan regarding getting to know each other and then going on a date when lockdown had finished. He told me her name was Paige and she lived about fifteen minutes away from us.

I gave him a few tips, not that I’m an expert, but reminded him not to forget his mates and that it mustn’t affect his school work. Don’t sit next to her in class and give her some space to be with her friends. He agreed to all of this and went to do his homework.

Fingers crossed this would work out ok.

A Simply Fostering Blogging Foster Carer.

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Fostering Blog | Bonus Scheme

Fostering Blog

James (name changed) had a call from a ‘friend’ of Mums today. This is obviously a new tactic to communicate with him. It consisted of him saying how much Mum loves James and how she is devastated that she won’t be seeing him at Christmas.

Oh and by the way can you put £20 in an envelope and send it to Mum! James just blocked the number straight away without any discussion.

This level of behaviour reminds me of a placement from years back where Mum had decided that she wouldn’t have contact with her children anymore as it was too upsetting for her! However she then changed her mind but the Local Authority told her that it was unfair on the children for her to keep changing her mind about seeing her children.

She got round it by actually telling the kids to get the address and phone number of a friend. Mum would call the friend and ask to speak to the friend’s Mum. She would then tell the friend’s Mum a long story about how the children had been dragged screaming from her (they weren’t) and how she was being stopped from contacting her children.

She would then send a cheap pay as you go phone to the child, via the friend, and they could have contact without anyone knowing. She did this with all four children over a 5 year period and the phone was then used to organise the children being picked up, one by one, and returned to home.

This was a very difficult placement. Mum like to throw around complaints and accusations and it became quite a stressful time. It was probably the ‘worst’ placement that I have experienced as a carer with regards to dealing with family. The kids themselves were a product of her attitude to ‘entitlement’ and, unfortunately, the kids have followed her path into adulthood.

I think we all have a ‘not to be forgotten’ placement and that is mine.

We had a really great weekend. James had a football match on Saturday so I went with him and stayed to watch. He played really well and scored a goal which cost me £1 as we had decided on a ‘bonus scheme’ where I gave him a pound for every goal he scored.

I chatted to some of the other parents there which was nice. We went home, via Pizza Hut, and watched the football on the TV and followed that up with a film. James went off to bed at 11.30. Sunday I took him to the garden centre, which he found incredibly boring until we went into the cafeteria and had a cooked breakfast. Sunday afternoon was spent watching football, for a change, and James got his uniform and school gear ready for the week ahead.

He went off at 10 and I stayed to fill out my diary, update accounts and send a couple of emails. I sat and reflected on James and his situation and whether it would have any long term effects on him when he went into adulthood.

I went to bed about midnight and looked forward to another positive week.

Simply Fostering Blogging Foster Carer.

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Fostering Blog | A Victorious Day

Fostering Blog.

We had a great weekend. James’ (name changed) football was cancelled due to the Virus so we decided to have a day out. Having spent Friday deciding where we should go I decided upon Portsmouth as it’s not a long drive and there is lots to see there.

James hadn’t been there before so it was somewhere different for him to see. We set off in good time and the journey was uneventful and pretty quick. We found a parking place and set out to explore.

We went to Old Portsmouth and saw the Dockyard and HMS Victory as well as one of the new aircraft carriers which James was hugely impressed with. We then went to one of the piers and watched the Isle of Wight hovercraft set off.

We then went in the amusement arcade, on the pier, and spent a few pennies on the various machines before setting off in search of somewhere to eat. We found a nice chippy with a seated section and enjoyed cod and chips and I introduced James to mushy peas, which he seemed to enjoy.

We walked around the shopping centre which had some great shops and I treated us both to some new tops. We set off for home about 5 and the journey home was as straightforward as the journey home. James was asleep pretty much straight away, must have been the sea air, and we got home in a decent time.

Sunday was all about a big roast and watching football on the telly. James had some homework to finish, which he did, and it was a lovely chilled day. About 4pm James got a call from Mum. He was unsure about answering it, but he did. Surprisingly it was quite a positive call with Mum apologising about Christmas and asking James if he wanted her to ask the Social Worker about arranging a pre-Christmas contact. James said that he would think about it.

They made small talk for about 10 minutes then ended the call. James asked me what I thought about him seeing Mum before Christmas and I said that I thought it would be a good idea.

The following day James set off for school and at about 9:30 I got a call from the Social Worker saying that Mum had called her and what were my thoughts about a contact before Christmas. I said that it would be a good idea and that they could exchange gifts and it might help Mum focus on the rehabilitation she was going to go through.

So the Social Worker went off to organise dates and said she would get back to me. She called me about 2 hours later. Mum, apparently had now asked if James could stay over on a Saturday night so he was there the whole weekend. The Social Worker had said that it was unlikely and Mum had gone off on one and slammed the phone down.

That evening Mum tried to call James on a number of occasions but he wasn’t in the mood for the chat. He then came out and said that he suspected Mum would ask him for money and he didn’t want to give her any because he knew what it would be spent on.

So what I thought would be a nice opportunity for them to meet turned out to have ulterior motives. You live and learn.

A Blogging Simply Fostering Foster Carer.