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James (name changed) had an issue with a boy at school. Or, rather, the boy had an issue with him. The boy concerned had a reputation as a bully and trouble maker. He had heard about James’ on going sporting success and obviously was jealous about it.

So there was a bit of an incident on the school field and there was some pushing and shoving. Comments were also made about James being in care which angered James more than anything else. A teacher had to step in between the boys and they were sent to the Deputy Head. The boy claimed that James had been showing off and bragging about his footballing exploits and had made derogatory comments to the boy. James answered and gave his side of the story.

Both boys were given a dressing down and the other boy was sent on his way with James being asked to stay behind. James was concerned why he had been asked to stay behind until the Deputy Head told him that he understood why he had reacted to the comments about being in care and said that he knew it was difficult for James not to react. He congratulated a relieved James regarding football but reminded him to keep working hard with his education as such a small percentage of footballers made it to the top. James told him that I had told him the same thing on many occasions. I received an email from the Deputy Head just outlining what had happened and this was copied to his Social Worker.

Foster Carers Blog

James trained on Tuesday night and was chatting to the other lads about training with the professional club. The other lad who had gone was a bit quiet and his Dad caught me to say that he had been told that they weren’t taking things any further. Obviously the boy and his dad were disappointed but wanted to wish James luck. We got home after training and James was a bit reflective about everything after his earlier altercation and the disappointment of his team mate.

We sat and chatted for an hour or so about life and the disappointments that come along. James seemed to be in a better mood as he went to bed but had spoken to Paige so that was probably the reason.

So on Wednesday afternoon we had a visit from the Development Manager from the football club. We made small talk and had a cuppa and then we got down to business. They were keen to sign James as an academy player for the following year. This meant that he would carry on with his education but represent the club at the same time. He would receive a weekly allowance from the club as a form of a retainer and would train 3 times a week plus a match. He would be expected to keep up his current educational level and not dip below that. He would not be allowed to train or play with anyone else. He left all the paperwork with us to peruse and obviously discuss with his Social Worker. James was overjoyed.

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