Due to the Covid situation it was decided that the family meeting would be carried out via Zoom. James (name changed) and I would be at home, my Supervising Social Worker would be at HQ and the family would be at the Children’s Services office with the Social Worker and her Manager.
James seemed very nervous about the meeting and was adamant that he didn’t want to go and live with anyone else, other than Mum.
The meeting was due at 10am but Mum was late so the meeting was delayed until 11am. The meeting started with everyone introducing themselves and the Social Worker explaining how the meeting was going to work.
Its common practice for the meeting Chair to explain the protocol of the meeting as, understandably, some of the attendees weren’t used to such meetings. So after the usual connection issues and the introductions the meeting commenced.
Mum stated that family members wanted James to live with them, which, on the face of it, seemed a reasonable suggestion. She gave the names of two family members who had volunteered. The Social Worker asked James his feelings and James said that he barely knew these people.
Mum argued this point and James simply repeated that he didn’t know much about these people. Mum then asked me how much I got a week for caring for James, a question I refused to answer. Mum said that she wanted the family members to be given the same financial package that I got.
The Social Worker’s Manager replied that it was unlikely that would happen and Mum kicked off, in a big way!! She stated that I didn’t care about James and that I only did it for the money. She said that the Social Worker didn’t care either and that it was all about money.
Now usually in a non-Fostering environment I would argue what she had said but you learn pretty quickly about remaining professional and not saying anything. So there was an awkward silence before the meeting chair said that she felt that the meeting should be adjourned so that everybody could reflect on what had been said. I stayed online with my Supervising Social Worker and James and we discussed what had been said. James was adamant that he would not go to live with people he hardly knew and I said that I thought that was now unlikely.
Later that afternoon James’ Social Worker called for a chat with me. I went to my bedroom to chat. She stated that Mum had been quite abusive after the meeting concluded at the office and that Security had to be called to remove her from the building.
The consensus was that she had seen an opportunity to come to a financial deal with these family members for looking after James and that she was peeved as the Manager had said no. So the rest of the day was spent reassuring James regarding future plans and that he shouldn’t worry about the situation.
James didn’t want to cook that night so we had a Pizza and watched the football and tried to forget the dramas of the day.
A Blogging Foster Carers Diary.