We wanted to trust our three remaining children in placement but we knew their family can be very persuasive and we also knew how ‘dedicated’ the children were to their Mum. With the current situation we had doubts that the eldest child, a boy, would be able to say no to Mum playing the same game as she had with his older sister. It had always been harder to make a relationship with him although he had seemed to bear the brunt of Mum and her boyfriend’s abuse. He had opened up to us on a couple of occasions to tell us about the things he had done to him, especially by Mum’s boyfriend. We had, of course, passed this information on to the Social Worker but it didn’t appear to go any further. We turned to the paternal Grandparents and explained to them what had happened to the eldest and what our concerns were. The Grandparents wanted to invite the children down to where they lived for a long weekend so we agreed some dates and they said they would have a quiet word with them regarding contact with Mum. It was all very quiet for a couple of weeks with no issues or problems and it was nice to have some relaxed time with the three of them. We had discussed the whole situation with the children and asked them to be honest with us regarding them hearing anything from family. They had all said they would.

The paternal grandparents came to pick them up for their long weekend and we put our feet up and had a couple of days relaxing and not having to think about anything other than our own children. Respite like this is always welcomed and should always be requested if Foster Carers feel the need to have it. It had been a stressful few months and we were obviously concerned about what had happened to the elder sibling and we had also gone through the ending of our other placement, a young lady we had all become very attached to. We didn’t usually struggle too much with placements ending but in this case we did and we hadn’t really had time to properly mentally accepting the fact that that placement had ended. Now we did have time we found it easier to think about her and get closure, even though we had to go through an allegation from her Mum. That’s the problem with having more than two children in placement at any time, especially if they are from different families. Having had 4, especially when three were so needy, made it difficult to concentrate of the specific needs of that one individual. We would always try to allocate time to each child but it didn’t always work out the way we wanted. The children returned in very good spirits, they had been in good spirits and had also seen some other family members, on the paternal side, while they were down there. We sent them to unpack while we had a quick chat with their grandparents. Apparently they had spoken about what had happened with their elder sister but had told their Grandparents that they would tell us if their Mum tried to contact them. The Grandparents said their goodbyes and then set off for their long journey home. We sat and made plans for the rest of half term and the children came up with some ideas regarding what they wanted to do. We then sorted out the mountain of washing the three of them had brought back.

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