I was in touch with another foster carer – my friend Janet, (names changed) just after her placement ended on Friday , then a couple of times over the weekend.
She described her feelings of disappointment in detail. James had refused to pack his belongings, to strip his bed when requested and as he left Janet suggested he might want to give his sister a hug. He declined, leaving with his head hanging. I suspect that the realisation of what he had done was already becoming very real.
James has been in touch to talk to his sister and Janet already. I could not help recalling the excitement I experienced when going on a school trip at around 15.I thought it was going to be amazing – but how I was so pleased when the time came to go home. I had clearly been home-sick and I suspect that James is already experiencing overwhelming emotion in relation to the home he has lost with Janet.
We had a garden visit from our Supervising Social Worker (SSW) today. Usually the key focus of her visits is to catch up on the progress of the young people, but with our Annual Review approaching there was other work to be done. We needed to update our Personal Development (Training) Plan. Then she collected questionnaires from our young people. They need to complete these on an annual basis, to explain how they feel about living here.
In addition there should be reports from Local Authority Social Workers and other professionals who have been involved. These are sent off to the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) , who will look at all of the information presented ahead of the review meeting next month.
Our SSW and we ourselves have already completed reports on how we feel our fostering journey has gone since the last review. I suppose when I was employed this sort of meeting would have been described as a performance review. Once the review has taken place the IRO will record recommendations, which we will have discussed during the review.
The plan for our 2020 Annual review is that this will be done virtually – I am very grateful that we have already met with our IRO previously. I feel that the review will be much easier because we have already met them at previous reviews.
Jayne Robbins – A Blogging Foster Carer.