Mum has been in touch to ask for contact to be renewed but this has been put on hold pending a face to face meeting between her and the Social Worker. Added on to this was Mums request that the children are collected and not brought over by us. This was swiftly rejected by the Social Worker as it would be difficult to find somebody to drive to us, collect two babies and transport for an hour around busy morning, rush hour roads. We had no understanding as to why Mum would not want us to even deliver the two babies, it seemed illogical. We were notified that the meeting would be scheduled over the next ‘couple of weeks’ and a decision would be made shortly afterwards. We were asked to write a short statement regarding the effect the ‘no show’ contacts had on the children, so we wrote, stating how unsettling it was for the babies and how tired they were when returning. We didn’t really feel that Mum would be that bothered, especially as we had written it. Over the many years that we have fostered we had always tried our best to work well with birth family of the young people we’ve cared for. It’s not always been easy but where we have had a good working relationship it’s always been a smoother, more enjoyable time and it is certainly beneficial for the children and the other people involved. The down side comes when you have to say no to somebody. We had a parent who wanted us to buy HER clothes on the pretence that it was for the children, trainers and sportswear mainly. We said no and, when the children next had contact, clothes and a pair of trainers went missing. We alerted the children’s Social Worker who asked Mum to return the items but she denied ever seeing them. Another young person was transferred to a family member to be cared for, she went with full bags of clothes and lots of gifts from various people. Unfortunately the placement broke down and she returned to us minus half the clothes and pretty much all the gifts she had been given, including jewellery. When the family were asked about the missing items they simply pleaded ignorance and the belongings were lost. There isn’t a magic key with regards to keeping birth family members happy. There is going to be something, at some stage, which will annoy people. We had had parents who disagree with the clothes we have bought, parents who have disagreed with boundaries we’ve set and even a parent who disagreed with the children being sent to school against the children’s wishes. All you can do is your best and leave the issues to the children’s Social Worker to resolve. We have been involved in a situation where the parents are apart and you have two different parents and their families to deal with. The children had been placed with their Mother but put into care as she couldn’t cope. The children were hostile towards their Dad because Mum had constantly criticised him. But when Dad heard that the children were in care he wanted to see them. Mum got wind of this she said that she didn’t want them to see him. We were stuck in the middle and whatever was decided was going to annoy someone. The Social Worker decided that the children should see their Dad and his family and therefore that was organised. Mum then refused to have contact with them as a ‘punishment’ for them wanting to see their own Dad.

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