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I received an email from James’ (name changed) Social Worker inviting me, my Link Worker and the Social Worker’s manager to a Zoom meeting on Wednesday afternoon. I accepted as I guessed that this was to discuss the SGO which was on the table regarding James remaining with me for the long term.

There seemed to be a general consensus that James would benefit from this, even from his Mum. I had a chat with my Link Worker in the morning and we agreed that we would listen to everything that the LA would offer and go from there. 

The meeting started promptly. It seemed that the Social Workers manager was leading the meeting. I had spoken to her on a couple of occasions previously and she does come across as being a bit of a dragon but she is very professional and knows her stuff. She started by saying that she thought that an SGO should have been agreed before and that she thought it was an excellent idea. James had settled in well, his education was going well and he was safe and secure. She was delighted how the placement had gone and was full of praise for my work. She then got down to the finer details.

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The first part was funding. What she was proposing was that my current financial package would continue until James was 18 and then it would be reduced to 75% of what I had now, for the remainder of the time James was with me. I also had to agree to not take any other placements, which I wasn’t planning to anyway, and I had to realise that if James’ mum was able to take James back sooner, prior to 6th form, then he would be returned home.

She then asked if I agreed and could she start the process to make the Order legal. I said that I needed to discuss the matter with my Link Worker and I would get back to her. She agreed to this. The meeting finished after about an hour.

I called my Link Worker straight afterwards. The only party that would be missing out on anything would be the agency as they would not be earning money from the placement and would be losing me as a carer albeit temporarily. She wanted to discuss it with her Manager and we agreed to reconvene the following morning. I sat with my coffee and went through the situation in my head. As far as I could see nothing would change in my situation, in fact it would improve as I had the decisions to make rather than putting anything through the LA. James would know where he stood as would his Mum and it would give her the ability to concentrate on her recover, hopefully. It was hard to think of any negatives, to be honest, and I knew that James would be happy with it all. So I carried on with my chores and looked forward to hearing from the Agency the following day. James got home and was in a cheery mood which made me feel like we were heading in the right direction.

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