So James’ (name changed) Mum is now kicking off about Christmas and the plans. She wants James home from Christmas Eve to the day after Boxing Day. She wants financial assistance to buy him some gifts.
She wants my gifts, and those from my family and friends to him, to be delivered to her house before Christmas. She wants a pro-rata payment of my weekly allowance so she can treat him to a ‘proper’ Christmas. I didn’t really know where to start when the Social Worker was telling me this and I could even sense a hint of amusement in her voice as she was telling me.
She said that they had to give some consideration to it as that was the right way to respond and I could understand that. I reminded her that James had agreed to a 2 hour contact in the run-up to Christmas so he could exchange gifts with Mum and that he had made it clear that he didn’t want anything more than that.
I actually felt sorry for the Social Worker as she was going to have to explain all this to James’ Mum. We agreed that we wouldn’t involve James in this at present but would have to make him aware of Mum’s demands before his contact.
Both the Social Worker and I agreed that Mum would not go ahead with the contact if she didn’t get her own way. So we ended the conversation and I quickly updated my Link Worker via email. She came back with a remark basically saying “you can’t be serious”.
So I went about my daily stuff, cleaning, washing, all the domestic stuff that has to be done when you have a teenage lad in the house. At about 3 pm the Social Worker called back. Mum had gone ‘ballistic’ apparently saying that she would sue the Local Authority and make sure that the Social Worker, her manager, and yours truly never worked again.
She became very abusive and the Social Worker had to end the call. I suppose it was pretty much as we expected. Apparently, there was someone in the background telling her what to say and also shouting abuse.
We guessed that it was Mum’s boyfriend. So we agreed that I should tell James the gist of what was said and that he should be told about the demands that Mum had made. Although I was confident that James would accept what had been said I am too long in the tooth to take it for granted. So I sat down with James when he got home and explained the day’s conversations.
He sat and listened intently to what I said. He said that he had half expected Mum’s response and that he could see that she basically wanted money for Christmas, not him. He knew what she wanted the money for and it wasn’t presented.
He asked if the contact would still go ahead and I said that I didn’t know. He asked if he should still buy Mum a gift and I said of course and that we could always post it.
He seemed happy with that. What a day.
Fosterman’s Foster Care Blog.