New Foster Care Placement Arrives
A new placement has arrived today. Young James (name changed) is 14 and is with me for about 2 weeks due to issues at home.
Got a phone call at the end of last week from my Supervising Social Worker (SSW) asking if I’d be happy to take a short term placement, as most of mine have been longer term. He arrived yesterday with his own Social Worker and a holdall full of un-ironed clothes. After going through all the formalities the Social Worker left us to our own devices and I showed him where everything is and where his bedroom is.
He seemed very pleased with his room. We put his clothes into drawers and I had a quick check to see if he needed anything, which, unusually, he didn’t. We sat down in the front room, with a cuppa, and I explained how things would work.
I am not local to his area so it wouldn’t be practical for him to visit friends or family without me driving him but he didn’t really appear bothered by that. He had an ipad with him and his phone so he could chat to mates and extended family, which had been agreed with his Social Worker. He seemed well versed in lockdown rules and it seemed that Mum had done a great job with him as he was very well mannered and knew his please and thank you’s.
So first night with an older placement I tend to do the takeaway option and I let him choose what he wanted from the Uber Eats app. We ordered a pizza and some sides. He was happy to sit up to the table to eat and we talked about school and his life. Mum had struggled with addictions but had managed to bring him up quite well. He didn’t know Dad but his Grandad had provided some male input into his life and that seemed to have kept James out of trouble.
I was really happy with the way he opened up and felt relaxed talking to me. The talk then came around to football, which he loved, and he was delighted to find out that I had Sky Sports. After clearing the table we put the TV on and found some football to watch. He was very knowledgeable about the game and told me that he played for both his school and his district and wanted to play professionally.
After the football had finished we discussed bed times. I suggested that, as there was no school, he could sit up until 11 and then wash and bed, which he seemed quite happy about. I told him that getting up time was 9 for shower and breakfast. I offered him a book, expecting him to turn his nose up, but, to my surprise he found a footballer’s autobiography and disappeared off to the bathroom.
So, first day done, all very positive so far, the shared love of football will serve me well with this lad but how to keep him entertained during lockdown may be a little bit of an issue.
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