We received a call from our Supervising Social Worker to say that we had received a complaint from the mother of the new placements. Apparently we had refused to put the baby, in hospital, in the clothes that she had provided and then also taken the clothes away and disposed of them. We had already explained to our Supervising Social Worker that the clothes Mum had provided were not very pleasant smelled of cannabis and cigarette smoke and were far too large for a ten week premature baby. We hadn’t disposed of them; we had taken them home, washed them and stored them in the ‘Fostering Bedroom’. We know that disposing of any clothing provided by family members is a no-no as is storing them in a bin bag in the garage. We always take great care in looking after children’s property and making sure that items are stored properly. We also buy proper storage bags for clothes and property to be looked after. Our Supervising Social Worker had made the Local Authority Social Worker aware of the situation and that was the end of the matter. We visited the baby in hospital a couple of days later. She had received no visitors and was still under the 4lb mark. 4lbs was the minimum weight that we would be able to bring her home and she had lost a few ounces over the last few days. It was hard to be patient as the thought of her being alone in the ICU department was upsetting. Don’t get me wrong, we fully trusted the staff and they were obviously doing a great job with her but we were of the opinion that she would be better being home with us where we can give her cuddles and one to one care. The little boy was blossoming at home and we felt the little girl would too. So we spent a couple of hours with her and she got lots of cuddles and was fed and she seemed settled and happy. Going home was difficult but we knew that we had to rely on the medical staff to decide when she was ready to come home. The next time we visited the hospital we drove up and took the one year old to see his little sister. He had been born in the same hospital and one member of staff remembered him. She made a fuss of him while we changed and fed the little girl. We had been there about an hour when the Doctor came into the ward and was checking her records and readings. He told us that they would be removing all the wires that evening and would see how she dealt with that. After that she would be moved to the general baby ward and, all being well, we could take her home after the weekend which was four days away. We retrieved the one year old from the nursing staff and headed home. The traffic was bad but we sat and spoke about how we would organise her coming home and what we needed to get. We already had a cot in our bedroom and we had a monitor, clothes, nappies and creams etc. The one year old would go into the spare room in a larger cot and the little baby would come in with us. Therefore we were pretty much sorted. We hoped that nothing would go wrong and were looking forward to getting home but no so much the sleepless nights.

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