The contact details were now in place. Mum was unhappy with certain aspects but, despite her protestations, the agreement was in place. Although some might think that the whole scenario would be a huge plus for us there was a one negative that loomed over the positives and that was the fact that Mum had made it clear that she saw no issues in how she brought up her children and she wouldn’t be changing anything, during contact, to benefit us. So we were expecting poor behaviour, on their return. The first Saturday came around quickly and we had planned our own weekend accordingly, spending time with family and the little girl from our previous placement. The kid’s taxi turned up and off they went. We had packed some decent clothes for them as well as toiletries. We had a lovely 24 hours, very relaxed and chilled. They were due back at about 4 but turned up at 6. The taxi driver said he was left waiting outside for ages but his office asked him to wait. Definitely, Mum playing control games. The kids came back and they looked filthy and were wearing the same clothes as they had left in!

We also noticed that some items were missing from their bag, especially the girl’s toiletries. The girl’s shampoo, body spray and some scrunchies were missing. We noted this in our diary and remembered to buy some cheapie products for them to take in future. The Social Worker called us on Monday and asked how things had gone. We told them about the clothes and toiletries and they noted it too. About an hour later the Social Worker called back and said she had spoken to Mum. Mum had complained that she was unhappy about the kid’s clothes and the fact that we had set bed times and set meal times. She, again, stated that we should be giving her the clothes proportion of our allowance so she could buy the kid’s clothes, as she knew what suited them. That was quickly refused. The kids were a bit hyper for a couple of days but soon returned to normality. The kids seemed to be buying into the whole routine idea and were now fully attending school and seeing the benefit of it. It was nice to hear them talking about the things they had learned at school when they were sat around the dinner table.

We had refilled their ‘contact’ wash bag with some of the mini products you get from Boots for going on holidays. The next weekend came round quickly and we reminded the kids about changing their clothes, especially their underwear. They returned, on time, and seemed a bit subdued. So we sat them down to eat but didn’t press them on anything. They had clean clothes on and appeared reasonably clean. They were hungry and said that Mum had told them that she didn’t have the money to feed them. Apparently Mum was going to ask for money from Social Services to support her feeding the kids at contact time. We noted this in our diary

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