Mum didn’t like being told no. In fact Mum didn’t like anything about us as Foster Carers, Social Services, Paternal family or anything that wasn’t in her favour. I remember being asked once, in a new Foster Carer forum whether we had more problems with parents or the children. To be honest we have rarely had any major issues with the young people placed with us. We have heard of carers having their cars stolen on the odd fire here and there but we have managed to avoid this. However with parents we haven’t been so lucky. We’ve been threatened, stalked, harassed and had malicious complaints made against us. These are easily dealt with and haven’t caused any long lasting issues or problems. This is why it is absolutely imperative to maintain a good diary and recording routine and have a good relationship with the placing Local Authority and your Supervising Social Worker. Don’t get me wrong when I say that I do understand, on occasions, why parents of looked after children get upset. I must be hard to see Foster Carers being able to provide things for their children that maybe is beyond their own capability either emotionally or financially. However the main focus for a Foster Carer is looking after the child and acting in the child’s best interests. We have always tried, with every placement, to enjoy positive relationships with parents and families of the young people we are caring for. This has had mixed levels of success but we’ve always tried. There are many reasons that young people come into care and the success of relationships with families seems to directly reflect these reasons. Where there has been abuse towards young people then the chances of having a positive family relationship is lessened whereas if the young person has come into Foster Care with the agreement of the parent then relationships are easier and can be quite positive.

The situation with the current placement is quite different. Mum had actually wanted the children to come into care initially claiming that she couldn’t cope with them. However she then decided that she wanted the children back and that she wanted to control that whole situation rather than work with Social Services to have the young people returned in an organised fashion. She even managed to convince the children that Social Services had snatched the children away. So for this particular parent her control over the children was more important than their stability and their security. It was amazing to see the children actually go along with Mum’s story of them being snatched away when she had actually sat down with the children to actually explain why they were going into care. So the girls came back from their stay with paternal grandparents in a nice relaxed state of mind. They had had lots of fun and had been well looked after and cared for. They had seen lots of family, including Dad, and had enjoyed a number of fun days out. It was then back to school and back to reality for them. They actually enjoyed school and both seemed to have made many friends there. We always encouraged them to make friends and they knew that friends were welcome in our house, their home. They were taught a lot by my wife with regards to clothes and grooming as well as childcare as we were the proud grandparents of a couple of beautiful granddaughters. The girls loved helping with changing nappies and bathing the babies when they same over to us.

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