I can remember those first days of the school term. The excitement of seeing your mates, getting a new timetable, finding out when you had games and PE. Then there was a new form teacher and, possibly, new class mates.
For James (name changed) he was starting at a new school as a Looked After Child (LAC) and without knowing anybody. This is a huge task after everything else he has been through. He was up at a decent time and said he hadn’t slept very well. He had breakfast and he was jabbering away about a dream he had and what were we having for dinner that night.
We had a final check that he had everything that he needed. I reminded him about our conversation regarding not offering up any information about being a LAC although it was nothing to be ashamed of. Tell people that he just moved to the area.
We left in plenty of time and arrived early. So I took him into the school office where we were introduced to everyone and I left him there. On arriving home it seemed very quiet. I tidied up, washed up, put some washing on and sat down with a coffee. I then emailed his Social Worker just to update her on the morning’s events. So what to do now?
The phone rang a couple of times during the day and I answered immediately, worried that something had happened. But it was marketing calls and I just disconnected.
I updated my fostering diary and checked to make sure I was up to date with everything. The clock soon ticked around to 3pm and I set off early in order to get a parking space. I parked up opposite the gate and waited for James to come out.
The kids started coming out and I was delighted to see James come out with two other boys, chatting and laughing. He saw me, waved to his new friends and jumped in the car. I then received an update on his day, the teachers, the other kids and how much he enjoyed his day.
I headed off and instead of driving home I took James for a Nandos as a kind of ‘well done’ treat.
Once we got home he got changed and showed me his contact book which stated that he had had a good day and had no homework. He got his gear ready for the next day and we settled down for some TV. I had a call from his Social Worker stating that Mum had kicked off about not being kept in the loop about his school and demanding to know where the school was.
Just as we finished that conversation James’ phone started buzzing, he looked at it and said that it was his Mum and ignored it. For the next hour or so it buzzed and buzzed as she tried to get through, but he kept ignoring it.
I told him that I would speak to his Social Worker the following day and take her advice. He went off to bed at 10pm and was out like a light. It had been a long day but he seemed happy about most of it and seemed positive.
A Blogging Foster Carer’s Diary.