Safi and Mahir  ( Names Changed ) two boys who arrived in placement within the last  couple of weeks both appear to be settling in well and are now having a positive impact on John our other placement who arrived a couple of days before them.( How amazing is that – given that initially he gave them quite a hostile response? )

We are still heaping on lots of positive reinforcement with all three young men and attempting to get one to one time with each of them.  Considerable effort has been made to modify John’s behaviour, which could be described as “extreme” to say the least.  It’s certainly been an interesting weekend!

I reflected with Peter, my husband, on John’s initial hostility and racist remarks and how when working on the “Give Racism the Red Card” project in school we had reflected that no matter how much staff spoke with the children and young people and challenged their racism, we were all too aware that when they went home the influence of family and to some extent that of their peers was always going to prevail.

As foster carers – sitting round the table in discussion, on a daily basis, we have an ideal opportunity to challenge and influence the young people in a way that just was not possible from any other day job. We are working really hard at the moment, but the job satisfaction is immense, we feel we are really making a difference and that is why we decided to become foster carers. We suspect that the emergency placement of the Asylum –seeking children occurred as an oversight – but perhaps this was a fortunate accident .

Mahir and Safi appear to have an overwhelming sense of relief at the moment . They are beginning to trust us and to know that they are safe, clean, fed, cared for and able to have undisturbed sleep. I suspect that they mentioned to the Afghan butcher about access to the mosque and this is something that the carers will follow up at the earliest opportunity if the placement is extended for a further 7 days.

We suspect that the boys will remain with us on a short term basis and we have spoken to the Local Authority in relation to finding a school for them to attend as soon as possible. We suspect that thIs will happen later rather than sooner !

My managers have been great and have agreed that I can take some time off (paid) to adjust to our new circumstances and to get on top of what needs to be done for the Sanctuary seeking boys, then return on a 0.6 basis – which should come into effect from the new year. The agreement is that I can run my own diary and be flexible about the hours that I work, so this will enable me to help out Peter with transport to and from schools.   

Joyce Robbins (alias) A Blogging Foster Carer.

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