Thursday’s Fostering Blog
The Unannounced Visit!!
Around once a year we get our unannounced visit from Social Services. This is required by Oftsed, as a check up on all foster carers. I am not opposed to the idea itself, its just you can pretty much guarantee it wont be on one of those really lovely evenings when you are all sat around the table – helping the children with the homework, making hot chocolate for a treat etc. No, it will come on the night where one of the children are pouring out their soul to you because they have had the worst day of their life at school, one of them will be crying because they don’t understand their algebra homework, and the foster child will have just done the biggest poo in their pad and the smell is lingering in the house. Charlie is inevitably in his office (man cave) “working” when the door bell goes.
As I open the door to the reality of the visit, my mind is swimming with all the things that are not in the right place. Questions are floating in front of me – ‘is the paperwork up to date?’, ‘where did I put the car insurance certificate?’, ‘did I remember to switch the magnetic cupboard locks back on in the kitchen?’, ‘is the bleach still behind the toilet in the bathroom? and so on. We have lots of do’s and don’t around the house – and mostly they are for very good reasons, mainly keeping our foster child safe.
However, it does mean we are completely risk averse – when will our foster children ever learn the normal things in life – like do not touch a fire, do not put your finger in an electric socket. While these things are good to a point, there must come a time when we can teach our foster children (like we did with our own children) about keeping safe. If we continue to keep everything that could possibly harm them out of their way, will they ever be prepared for the real world after foster care?
I managed to stay calm and most of the things I had forgotten to do, I blagged my way through. One of my main bones of contention is the insistence of keeping our first aid box in a locked cupboard. It is currently on the top shelf of a kitchen cupboard up on the wall. I have to climb on a chair to reach it myself.
Our eight year old foster child is a paraplegic – so has no hope of climbing up to get down a plaster! I made my case again and this fortunately seemed to appease the social worker – for now. I know when the report is written it will be flagged again, and to be honest it is probably going to remain on the to do list!
A Less Ordinary Family Fostering Blog