So here we are, empty, surrounded by girls clothes but with no girls in the house. My wife and I sat and reflected on what had happened. It’s the disappointment of being lied to after everything you’ve done for the young people. We weren’t bothered about their maternal family and their behaviour towards their own children. If they took pleasure in encouraging their children to lie and be deceitful then that’s reflects on them and nobody else. We had a long chat with our Supervising Social Worker (SSW) about the whole situation and the fact that we had done everything in our power to provide a safe and caring environment for all of the children and no criticism could be levelled at our practice. A meeting was held at our house with the SSW and the Social Worker just to cross the t’s and dot the I’s. We had collected all the girl’s belongings and packed them into the holdalls we had bought them for their trips away. We also packed their other belongings, photos, drawings and jewellery. Mum was demanding the children’s savings money, it was her number one priority. She demanded that the money be transferred into her bank account without delay. However the savings belonged to the children and the Social Worker asked us to provide anything to do with the children’s saving such as statements and other paperwork. We put all of this into a folder and gave it to the Social Worker along with other correspondence, medical and school information. The Social Worker was very apologetic and thanked us for the work we had done with all of the four children.

After she left we sat and chatted to our SSW and discussed the placement some more and then asked if we wanted to take on any other placements, at that time, or if we wanted a break. We decided to have a two week break just to clear our heads and spend some time with our own family. That evening the paternal Grandfather phoned to talk to the children so we had to update him about what had happened. He was horrified and apologised for what we had been put through. We told him that we were more worried about the kids and how they would react to being back home with a parent who was so self centred. We were also concerned about Mums boyfriend who we knew had been abusive towards the single boy out of the children. Unfortunately the Paternal side of the family had nothing to do with the maternal side and so it appeared unlikely that the children would not have the positive input of their father’s family.

The school called us for an update and we told them that the children had returned home but it was unplanned. The SENCO at the school was very concerned based on some conversations she had with the children. So that was it. We could return to being our own family unit and not worry, for a couple of weeks, about anything else. We were lucky that we both had incomes from other sources and it wasn’t going to affect us much from a financial point of view. We made some plans of things to do for the following week including one tradition that we had always maintained. When a long term placement left us we treated ourselves to a day at a local spa where we were spoilt with treatments and lunch. We booked that for the following week and it was something to really look forward to.

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