With the eldest sibling now being back home with Mum, we were concerned whether something similar would happen with the remaining three who lived with us. Their Social Worker came over to see them and we sat and talked to the about what had happened. She explained that if Mum was ready to have any of the children back then she only had to contact the Social Worker and it could be organised in a planned way rather than having to be carried out in such a secretive fashion. The three agreed and said that if Mum approached them then they would tell Mum to contact her and they would also let us know. We weren’t sure if they would, to be honest, and the Social Worker agreed. The trouble was that Mum was a ‘loose cannon’ and we wouldn’t put anything past her. She didn’t seem to understand how her behaviour affected the children. We did receive a message from the kid’s paternal grandparents asking if they wanted to meet up. That went down very well and we arranged a time for that to happen. Paternal Aunt was quite local to us so Grandparents would collect them and they would then go onto Aunt’s for the day. The Grandparents were very pleasant, amicable people and we filled them in with what had happened and what plans were in place. It appeared that there was no love lost between Mum and her past in-laws and they were very critical of Mum’s behaviour even when the kids were with her. So the day arrived and the Grandparents arrived. We invited them in and the children were delighted to see them of course.

They stayed for about thirty minutes and then headed off to Aunt’s with the children. We took our other placed little girl for something to eat and spoiled her for the day. The three children returned home at about seven and were very excited about their day. We waved them off and the children told us about their day and what they had done. They were very excited as they had also spoken to Dad, on the phone, and he said he was going to try to get over when work allowed. We didn’t really know much about Dad and most of what we had been told, by Mum, was very negative. However, judging by the comments made by paternal Grandparents, he was a hard working guy who had been stopped from seeing his children by Mum. We know that in these circumstances family loyalty kicks in so we decided we would judge him by what he had told the children. Sure enough the following week the paternal Aunt called and asked if she could pick the children up and take them to meet Dad. We, of course, agreed and the children were very excited at the thought of seeing him. Aunt collected them, the following weekend, and off they went for a day with Dad and Aunt. We were very happy for them and they were finally getting some quality family time after the upset with Mum and we were getting a little bit of peace and quiet for a few hours. They came back, about nine pm, happy and tired. They had been able to have Dad to themselves for a few hours. During the following week the eldest sibling called the Social Worker to ask why she hadn’t been invited to the get together. The Social Worker said that that was an issue she needed to discuss with her family and not Social Services.

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