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Fostering Routines

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It’s been a nice quiet few days. James (name changed) played football on Saturday, which I went to watch, and, due to the weather, we chilled at home watching football and probably eating too much.

The nice thing about having only one child in placement is that you can focus all of your attention on the young person.

I have taken sibling groups, when I was married, of up to four and on one occasion we had a sibling group of four and another young person who we always looked after during school holidays every year. As you can imagine it was pretty chaotic with kids running everywhere and it was difficult to be able to focus on one particular child.

What made that situation worse was that one of the sibling group was 18 months old and came to us with a really bad ear infection, so sleep was at a premium as well. But you cope. No one was lost, everyone was fed, clean and dressed and they all fitted into our regime very quickly.

It’s all about organisation and working as a team. We had a routine which applied regardless of the number of children we were caring for and regardless of their age. It was almost regimental but we had to be like that.

There were rotas for everything, from washing up to bath times and when children are setting off to school or schools then it was a case of who was dropped off and who got a school bus. I can’t remember anyone ever being dropped off at the wrong school but I can recall turning up at the wrong school on a parents evening. Eventually you do get into a routine and everything works like clockwork with just the occasional hiccup.

We hadn’t heard from Mum for a few days and James’ phone was quiet other than calls from his mates. On Monday James went off to school and I was pottering around indoors doing some tidying when the Social Worker called. She told me that Mum had agreed to attend a rehab clinic in South West London and would be commencing treatment in two weeks.

It had been agreed that if she successfully completed the treatment and stayed clean for a month afterwards then the Local Authority would consider her having James back.

She said she would be in touch and we exchanged pleasantries and I finished the call. It was a strange feeling.

There hadn’t been any time scales on how long James would be with me but now there possibly was. Obviously it depended on Mum fulfilling her side of the bargain which certainly wasn’t guaranteed. I sat with a diary and worked the dates through.

It would mean James, almost certainly, would be with me for Christmas so at least I was aware of that and could plan accordingly.

I sat and considered what to tell James but decided to say nothing, for now, as Mum had a reputation for not following through on things and I didn’t want him to be let down any further on this occasion.

A Blogging Simply Fostering Foster Carer.