Our short term, sibling group placement wasn’t short term at all. In fact it became one of our longest placements. The good thing is that we were involved in all the meetings to discuss the placements, so nothing was agreed without our say so. Mum had an addiction and had been told, in no uncertain terms, that her recovery was the number one priority for her and the children were safe and being well looked after. Mum wasn’t impressed and was throwing unpleasant accusations at Social Workers and us, the Foster Carers. We were used to these scenarios but it’s never nice to sit and listen to somebody accuse you of wanting to keep the children because of the money, especially after the negligence the children had suffered. But we sat and remained professional by not responding or reacting to the accusations. Unfortunately, Mum did not complete the first recovery course and disappeared off the radar for a few weeks. The children were disappointed as some contact had been planned and Mum did not fulfil any of the contacts. For the first contact, we were asked to attend the contact center just in case she did appear, but she didn’t. After that it was decided that we would only attend contacts if Mum confirmed her attendance on the morning of the contact as it was too upsetting for the children to go through anymore no shows from Mum.

The children were soon enrolled in local schools and the baby was happy to spend his day doing baby things. Mum then appeared on the scene again demanding to see the children for contact. This was agreed and a venue was organised with Mum insisting she would be in attendance. We turned up at the given time and we were prepared to leave the children with the contact supervisor and go and look around the local areas. Mum only lived five minutes from the contact center and we waited, and waited but Mum never appeared. The children were very disappointed and there were lots of tears. I was angry that she couldn’t be bothered to notify us. Apparently she had requested a travel pass from the LA and it hadn’t turned up. Honestly, she could of walked it without any trouble at all. So we loaded the children back up in the car and headed home. Mum then announced that she was going to a rehab center to get clean and that once she had completed the rehab she would be demanding the children back. Mum started at the rehab center on a Tuesday and by the Friday had been asked to leave as she had been violent towards another guest. So we were back to square one as far as the children were concerned.

Not long after there were care proceedings and a Guardian was appointed. The guy who was chosen made an instant impression on both us and the children. He was experienced, knowledgeable and great with the kids. He formed a great relationship with us, was punctual and was regularly in contact. When he visited he would take the children, other than the baby, out for food and the children would look forward to his visits. The children were settled, well behaved and had made great relationships with our own family. In fact the girl, who was 4, had my father in law wrapped around her little finger. The weeks, and months, went on and Mum, yet again, had gone on the missing list and life was calm and settled. It wouldn’t last for long though.

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