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It was obvious that the effects of Mums behaviour would have an adverse effect on James (name changed). He had seemed a little withdrawn and quiet since the Zoom meeting. So I decided that a day out would be in order.

James seemed keen on the idea so the plans were discussed. As the weather was forecasted as being sunny we decided that the coast was our first choice. Armed with our masks we headed off down the A2 to enjoy the wonders of the Kent coast.

We ended up having a road trip, taking in Margate, Sandwich and ending up in Deal. Surprisingly James wasn’t a fan of the arcades so we mooched around the shops and sat on the beach eating fish and chips. James opened up about his past, his family and how things were at home. It seems that his life had been very difficult and that he had not experienced much in the way of affection from close family.

He told me how he would feel jealous of his friends when they were hugged by their family members. He had a Nan that he was close to but she had died a few years before and he missed her greatly. He said that he had seen a different way of life when he was with friends and had been in trouble with Police on a couple of occasions.

He said that Mum hadn’t really reacted when the Police brought him home after he was caught shoplifting and had actually joked about it.

He has seen friends smoking weed and had been offered it but the smell made him feel sick and he didn’t want to inhale it. So it appeared that James had probably come into care at about the right time, before he got into further trouble.

I decided then that we would leave the family talk for a while and we headed off to Canterbury for a look around the shops.

James saw the Cathedral and asked if we could have a walk around inside. Part of it was shut due to Covid but we took the opportunity of walking around the main part. James admitted he hadn’t been in a church before and I pointed out that they weren’t all as striking as this one. He seemed a bit awe struck by the grandiose of the windows and decorations.

It was actually difficult prising him out, which was good to see. From there we decided to stop at Bluewater.

We went into Costas for some refreshment and then had a walk round while he pointed out all the trainers he wanted, all priced at over £100.

I gave him the ‘work hard and you’ll be able to afford them’ speech and we carried on walking round. He saw a tee shirt in a sale he liked so that was his treat for the day and we headed off home. He went and had a couple of hours on the Playstation while I wrote the day’s events in my Fostering diary, making sure I logged the important disclosures James had made.

James turned in about 10 and I have to admit I wasn’t long after, all that sea air etc.

I reflected on the day and what we had discussed and I felt glad that I had James’ trust.

A Simply Fostering Foster Carer’s Diary.

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