Emma’s Fostering Blog
It was a Sunday when Paula arrived; she was slim build softly spoken and very polite.
On Monday Paula was at School, I had a call from her Nan to say Paula was upset because I wouldn’t let her have money for her mobile phone so she told her she would give her the money for this. I had already given her the money. Then a series of calls; ‘locked in the house and someone was in the garden and she was scared’. ‘She had juice in her room but didn’t like it and only has bathroom tap water to drink’ and so it went on.
Nan seemed to believe everything she told her and it seemed obvious that she lied to gain her attention. Paula often rang her late at night swearing and crying down the phone and Nan felt guilty that her granddaughter was in care and that she couldn’t care for her, I soon established a relationship with Nan which helped however, I knew I had to keep detailed and accurate notes, I felt under pressure, too many lies, and playing adults off against one another. It was difficult keeping track of her and so many lies, when she was late, I would ring her and she would shout abuse and text threatening messages, and often having to report her missing.
Each time I was consistent and persistent in my messages that I needed to keep her safe. Paula would be calm, charming and always very convincing in her lies, and excellent at manipulating other people.
Paula asked to stay out every night and I told her I could not give permission, so in the end I met her half way and we agreed at weekends so long as her worker agreed and I was able to speak to the parents to know she was safe. This seemed to be working well until Paula told her newly qualified Social worker she was unhappy here because I was stopping her from having fun and she wanted to stay out with friends. The Social worker decided that as she was only on respite she could come back each day for clean clothes and food for the day and she even stated her bed is here as a backup so the placement is still open.
I did not agree with her decision and hoped that she would have supported me with the plan we already had and I was really concerned about her mental health. I asked for an email to confirm her decision and Paula stayed out every night, didn’t come back at all after that. I often think of her!
My thoughts are looking back that Paula was identifying with and expressing different personalities at different times. She had disturbed ways of thinking, impulsive behaviour and problems controlling her emotions. I could see she had unstable relationships and she worried about people abandoning her.