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You’ve got to love a half-term week. 5 days of not getting up early! James (name changed) hadn’t really got any plans for the week other than seeing Paige and ‘resting’.

I had an online training course to do in Health and Safety so James agreed to be out when that was on. James’ football coach called to say that training was canceled due to Covid and, again, there was no match at the weekend.

After the events of the weekend, it was decided to hold a Zoom event, without James in attendance, with James’ social worker and my link worker. Obviously, there was a lot to catch up on and it would be easier to do this, virtual face to face, rather than via email. James was fine with this and I promised to keep him updated on what was said and discussed.

I asked him if there was anything he wanted to be raised and he stated that he wanted to finish his education, with me, before there was any discussion around him returning home. I had raised this with his Mum and she thought it would be a good idea as she needed to go through rehab and get well before being able to look after James again.

The problem is that with parents affected by drugs they can be understanding, and sympathetic, one minute and then kick off the next. Poor James has had to endure this uncertainty for many years and he seems to have a coping strategy that means that he tends not to take things on face value.

However, I think he is very set on the fact that he has to finish his education with me as that is his best chance for the future. However, the Local Authority holds the purse strings and has the final say. You can never pre-judge was a Local Authority is going to say.

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There have been times in the past when I’ve had to argue regarding the best interests of the child and that should be more important than a financial budget. During these discussions, I have been accused, on a couple of occasions, of being too attached but having done my best for a young person over a period of time you do not want to see that young person return from the situation they were in previously.

Having Mum onside, in this situation, would be a massive bonus but, unfortunately, cannot be relied on. James was worth money to her and having him home increased her income. Her ‘friends’ also realised this and had, in the past, pressured James to steal from me for Mum’s benefit.

It was up to Mum to get these people out of her life but there was little sign of this happening. So the whole meeting would actually be very important and I would be batting for James’ future and hopefully giving him the opportunity to build his own life in a safe and secure environment.

Wish me luck.

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