We have a placement but only temporary. We had twins, one boy, one girl who were from Bulgaria. They were 30 months old and were gorgeous. Mum had been seen in a convenience store, at 10pm, with the twins in just nappies and vests on a very cold night. Police had been cold and it was obvious that Mum was suffering with a mental health crisis. We had a call about 11pm, just as we were preparing for bed. The Police turned up at 1am and handed the children. There were two officers, one male and one female and the female officer had stopped at a late night shop and brought us some nappies and baby formula, which was very kind and thoughtful. We settled them both down in a travel cot that we had for emergencies and they slept quickly. They woke up about 7am and we took them down for food as they both looked a bit thin and pale. My wife took them for a bath after breakfast and we found some suitable, age appropriate clothing to dress them in and we spoke to our Supervising Social Worker (SSW) about the placement and the background to it. Other than what we knew about the circumstances of them being picked up by the Police, there was very little background information. We had worked for this Local Authority before, via our IFA, and knew quite a few Social Workers there. We had a call from a Local Authority Social Worker asking if they could pop over later that day, which we happy to do. They arrived about 3pm and we sat and chatted and showed them the bedroom the twins would be sharing. By that time we had obtained another travel cot so they had one each. We were unaware of the sleeping arrangements that Mum had for the twins but we knew that they had slept well together. We were told that Mum was undergoing psychiatric analysis at a hospital close to where the children were found. She had only been in the country for a short while and nobody was aware of any other family or friends.

The Police visited her registered address and found some details of a sister who was also living nearby. We were told that the sister had been called and that Social Services were awaiting an update of that situation. The twins slept very well, again, and we got them up and dressed. About 11am we received a call from Social Services saying that the sister had agreed to care for her niece and nephew. The Social Worker turned up, eventually, at about 6pm and that was the end of that. For once a short term placement was actually that, a short term placement. So, back to empty and enjoying some down time again. We knew it was a matter of time before another placement arrived so we enjoyed some time relaxing and also took the chance to buy some more emergency supplies for any further late night emergencies. Sure enough, a couple of days later, we had a call from our SSW asking if we would take a one year old boy for possibly a short term placement. That word possibly meant that this was one of those placements that could be two days or two years. The boy had been abandoned by his Mum as she was going into hospital for the premature birth of her third child, the first being already in the care system.

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