Tuesday night training and I have to admit being concerned after what had happened the previous session.
Although the boys had made up I was concerned that there would be some kind of tension between the two of them. Fortunately I was worried about nothing as James (name changed) came out smiling and joking with a group of lads including the lad he had argued with.
James was full of the joys when he got into the car. When we got home he was telling me that the club were trying to sort out a friendly match against an academy team from a professional club and he was very excited about that.
The coach said he would be in touch to let the boys know if he heard before Thursday.
We got home and sat down. I made James some food and, without warning, asked me a question I couldn’t really answer. ”Steve, if I go back to Mum, I’m going to lose all this aren’t I? Football, Paige and school”.
I looked at him and didn’t really know what to say. In our heart of hearts we all know that his stay with me was temporary but when you look at his life and what he has right now it would be difficult for Mum to provide all this even after she went through rehab.
So I sat there thinking how the hell I answer that! So I explained that, yes, it would be difficult for Mum to provide the level of support that I do. Mum doesn’t drive so she wouldn’t be able to take him to training or take him to see Paige.
So he would have to adapt to that and find alternative ways of travelling. I knew that I was waffling on as I had no answer to his question. He knew I was waffling on too. In the end I just said that what he said was true and there is no way to actually answer that.
I told James that we do not know how things will pan out just take one day at a time and enjoy each day. He looked down and a bit dejected and there was nothing I could say that would make him feel better. It happens all the time in being a foster carer.
You give the best care you can and you give the child, or children, enjoys that. New clothes, a clean warm house, a room of their own, food on the table, you cannot replicate what they experienced at home so, in general, you are giving them a better standard of life.
Of course when the placement finishes the young person or people that you care for go back to what they had, or didn’t have, before. It’s difficult, especially for older children who are more aware of their surroundings.
James was right, he wouldn’t be able to play football or see Paige and he would experience a huge change in his whole lifestyle.
I don’t know what he answer is. Some placements are so pleased to be going home that they don’t care, whilst others have actually resented having to go home. I have experienced both.