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Changes Fostering Blog

So we have entered the twilight zone, those days between Christmas and the New Year when nobody knows what day it is and some people are back to work and some aren’t.

The shops are open but they are also packed due to the sales. There is loads of leftover food but everybody is stuffed to the gills from Christmas. James (name changed) had football training Tuesday evening and looked shattered as, due to Covid and injury, he hadn’t played for a couple of weeks.

I hung around while he trained and chatted to some of the parents. James finished and we got home, via McDonalds, as the poor lad hadn’t eaten since lunchtime.

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The next day James was meeting Paige and disappeared about 10am. It gave me the chance to take down the tree and decorations and return the house to some kind of normality. I sat, with a cuppa, and pondered the holiday period and what a great few days it was.

Everybody was happy to get together and James was just one of the family and he revelled in that. But as always in fostering there’s that feeling, in the back of your mind that the placement could end very quickly.

Mum had not really covered herself in glory, over the last couple of weeks, and there was no sign of her doing anything meaningful to get James home. However the many years I have fostered have taught me not to take anything for granted.

I was in this very position many years ago, when I was married. We had a girl placed with us who was the last of a sibling group of 3. Mum also had a drug problem and there were some similarities in her behaviour to James’ Mum.

She had been told that she had no chance of being reunited with her family unless she undertook a full rehab period. She never did but managed to get all the children home without really making any effort. I had, in the back of my mind, that this could happen with James.

I worried how he would cope changing school, Paige, friends etc. He had become accustomed to having a standard of living that he had never really had before.

It was the same standard as most of us would take for granted but a standard of living that Mum could not provide due to economic and lifestyle reasons.

I shook myself out of that train of thought and got on with my day. The Social Worker called at lunchtime for a catch up. I told them all the good stuff but also provided an update on Mum’s behaviour and the number of calls that were received on mobiles and the home phone.

She wasn’t impressed and said that she had tried to contact Mum that morning but with no success. We agreed to reconvene the following Tuesday and organise a time for her to pop around.

I then updated my Link-worker, had a chat with them and got back to domestic chores for the rest of the day.

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