So we had visitors. Not only James’ (name changed) social worker but the social workers manager. I had met her before and took a bit of a dislike to her. She was loud, abrupt and, frankly, a bit rude. But I’m sure she got results and that’s why she was a manager.
I noticed her looking around, her eyes were everywhere. James was still in the shower so I sat and chatted to them both. To my surprise I received a lecture on the benefits of family contact. I sat and listened, attentively, and then heard her go on to say about the dangers of over attachment.
Again I didn’t say anything. James came into the room and she turned and said to him that she’d call him when we wanted him. James looked at me, rolled his eyes and left the room. She continued her lecture for another ten minutes and then suggested we called James.
I said to her that I had a couple of things to say before James came back. So I lectured her. I told her about my fostering history, the number of placements and the types of placements. I told her about my strong belief about family contact and its importance.
I even told her that I found her tone and attitude a little patronising and disrespectful. I asked her how long she had been a qualified social worker and she said 10 years. I told her that I had been in fostering for 10 years when she qualified. She didn’t say much in reply but didn’t seem impressed by my response.
Blogging Foster Carer.
James was then ‘allowed’ back into the room. She then started to talk to James like he was 6 years old. How Mummy missed him so much and how she deserved some respect for all the hard work she had put in for James.
I watched his face as he listened to what she was saying. There was a look of bemusement across his face. She went on for another ten minutes and, to his credit, he never interrupted. She finished her monologue by asking what day would be best for contact to be held. James then replied.
He said he didn’t want to meet Mum and then explained why. She tried to interrupt on a number of occasions but James just carried on talking over her. She was left in no doubt as to why he didn’t want to see her.
He also pointed out the threats made by her male friend and that he had suffered abuse by this person who was still a part of Mum’s circle. When he finished there was silence. I think she was trying to process everything that James had said.
She had been scribbling notes and seemed, on a couple of occasions, to be shocked by what James had said. She said that she understood what James had said and had taken it on board. She was sorry for appearing to ‘bully’ James into seeing his Mum and now perfectly understood the reasons why he didn’t want to.
She agreed that Mum should be going through rehab and would look into the reasons why this hadn’t happened. Until the investigations were carried out she would not be recommending any contact be carried out.
There was some small talk and then they left. I think we all had a better understanding of each other’s point of view after the meeting.