Sunday, 21 December 2008

TV time

I was thinking how plain my blog looks without any photos, so thought I'd upload a recent pic of my daughter (on the left) and her friend (who is only 4 days older!!) having a wonderful time eating quavers and watching Barney! They're both obsessed with the purple dinosaur and would have sat there all day if we'd let them! :D

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

There's something about Tuesdays!!

It seems to be the day I get my fostering news!

Last Tuesday I had a call about a placement - short term, two little ones not yet at school. I was more than willing to take them but the LA found other carers (as seems to be the case with all of the referrals I hear about).

And today I've heard that the family finder for the two children I've enquired about has requested my Form F - they have not found suitable adopters and therefore will be reviewing things in the new year... and maybe we'll be matched... oh I hope so!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Outcome of annual foster home review, and a little bit of news

I recently had my annual review, and panel have agreed to amend the ages I'm approved for, so I can now foster a child, or two children, aged between 3 and 10 (I was initially approved for ages 4 to 7, although I had really wanted any primary school age).

Also, I should expect to hear whether I'll be considered for the siblings I'm hoping to foster long term within the next three weeks.

Other than that, not a lot has been happening on the fostering front!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

News at last!

I've just received news that the children's SW has been in touch with my agency. It's not quite what I wanted to hear but kind of what I already knew - they will be spending the whole of November looking for an adoptive family for the children, and will look at long term carers after their meeting at the end of the month if a suitable adoptive family isn't found.

I'm tempted to put my name forward as an adopter but I don't know if this is possible, or even if I'd be taken seriously. And then there's the issue of finances. Can a single parent afford three children??!

I just want the best for these kids and think we could be a very good family for them. Their SW seemed to think so too when I spoke to her, but I've now got a month to wait to find out if anyone 'better' has come along.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Still waiting

All I've had is calls to say my agency haven't heard anything yet.

I'm no longer hoping for a call in the next few days, I've extended it to the next few weeks. It makes the waiting a bit more bearable.

Monday, 3 November 2008


I've been invited to join a very good site for Foster Carers:

Come over and take a look!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Still waiting for news

My agency have called me twice in two days (loving the contact!) but neither my link worker nor her manager have spoken to the children's social worker. I don't want to appear too pushy but I really want to know more, so have sent the SW an email to give her a gentle nudge and have left my number in case she wants to call me (hint hint). I think things would go a lot quicker if they just used me as the middle man to relay messages, we could be waiting weeks before my link worker and the children's SW are in the office at the same time!!

Friday, 24 October 2008

Cautiously hopeful

There's been a lot happening here but I've been so fed up with the whole process that I couldn't be bothered to blog it. It's always the same. I get a call about an emergency placement. I get all hopeful that they'll be placed with me. Then something happens and they don't come after all. Then I don't get any calls for a while so I start chasing things up myself from profiles I've seen and no one is interested - there's always a reason, though distance and amount of contact with birth family have been the most common recently. I've been hopeful, nervous, excited for news on at least a dozen kids since I last posted and none of those happened.

I'd exhausted my options in the fostering section on the websites so decided to have a peek at some of the kids that are looking for adoptive families. I'm not approved to adopt but I like to read about the kids and I've learnt a lot from the profiles. There's some kids I see time and time again and it makes me sad how long they've been waiting for a family.

Looking through the listings the other day I spotted a new profile. Two girls, sisters, aged 7 and 8. Everything about them made me wish I was approved to adopt. The kind of family they needed was everything I could offer. It seemed such a shame that the children that could really fit with my family were ones I wouldn't be considered for, and those that need foster placements mostly require two parent families with no younger children.

I revisited the girls' profile several times until yesterday when I decided to go for it, and clicked to register my interest. I figured the worst that could happen was being told no again.

Well, today has been a very suprising day. The family finding social worker has been in touch about the 'possible match'. First time I've been referred to as that, and first time a social worker has contacted my agency to ask about me, not the other way round! That in itself was pretty amazing, though I was worried that the social worker had read my information wrong and assumed I was an adopter. My link worker had tried to call the SW, hadn't got through and then had to leave for a meeting elsewhere. She'd forwarded me the email and me being the impatient so and so I am, decided to follow up the contact myself. I never know if this is the right thing to do but I couldn't stand not knowing for a whole weekend!!

So I called. The social worker knew my name, sounded happy I'd called, and went on to say how good a match she thought I was. Three more firsts! She told me a lot about the girls and said that although they are looking for an adoptive family they are doubtful they'll find one (mainly because of their ages), and that they would definitely be looking at possible long term foster carers. She explained that the most important thing is keeping the girls together in a family that reflects their heritage, and I can offer that. She even went on to assure me that even if adopters came forward, they wouldn't be placed before me just because they could adopt, and that the best match for the girls would still be the most important thing. She sounded very impressed with everything I said and wants to schedule a time to meet me, along with my link worker and the children's social worker. I am so excited!! I spoke to my link worker later on and told her the news, and she sounded as happy as I was.

I can't believe I'm finally being seriously considered. And I think it's pretty amazing how it happened. Maybe I've been waiting for these girls all along...

Friday, 17 October 2008

Monday, 15 September 2008

Wow, it's all happening today!

I spoke to my link worker at the agency this morning - about not being considered for A, about referrals they'd had that I hadn't been considered for (mostly as they were in school out of my area), and about the chance of actually fostering one day soon (and I also explained some things about needing to start working again soon, whether it's fostering or childminding, I need to earn an income!)

I then emailed her this afternoon to ask if she could find out about J (as her SW is one that I don't feel comfortable talking to). I just received this mail back:

I have just had a conversation with [SW], who confirmed that she was on leave for three weeks and has been back at work for a week now. She explained that things have changed considerably with regard to J's behaviour and that they are now reconsidering her placement needs in the light of this. In revisiting their consideration of single parent households they are now looking to families with birth children that are significantly older than J and who therefore could offer addtional support in the placement to meet her needs.
[SW] remembered your enquiry and thanked you for your interest.

Poor kid. Things sound really tough, and I wish I could help. But I know this kind of placement won't be possible until my daughter is a LOT older.

I'm actually kind of glad today that I pushed a bit. I found out quite a bit, and feel like I'm being taken seriously. I just hope a placement does come through before I'm so skint I need to go back to childminding full time!

If only...

...all social workers were like A's one! This is the reply she sent me:

Many thanks Emily. I wanted to ensure you knew I had given a placement with yourself proper consideration but really feel it wouldn't be the right placement for A.
I wish you all the very best, M.


They made a decision!

Not the one I wanted to hear, but I'm glad it was made quickly.

I won't be considered as a carer for A, mainly due to distance and the amount of contact that's needed with her birth family :(

I've emailed her SW to say thank you for being so great and to wish them the best of luck finding the right family for A.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Very slow progress

Last week was spent making some calls...

I phoned about J, whose profile I posted on here a while ago. (As I suspected!) her family finding SW had been on leave the whole of the summer so there hadn't been any progress. She will, however, be passing all of the foster carer profiles she's received over to J's SW and they'll select those they feel are the closest match. She said they'll be in touch... which I now know means it's very likely I'll hear anything!... so I'm going to call back in a week or so to pester them for another update :)

As well as J, there's another girl (A, 11 years old) who I'm very keen on. I actually saw A's profile before J's, and I called for information a long time ago - beginning of the year I think. I really like this child's SW! She's the first one I've 'met' who sounded happy to talk to me on the phone, and even more amazing she replies to my emails, often the same day and sometimes even immediately! Anyway, the reason I haven't mentioned this child before is that things had been put on hold, and the earliest they expected to know more was mid September. I didn't want to even think about it until I knew what was happening. Trying to be a bit proactive, I'd updated my profile to reflect my new house etc and thought I'd email it to the SW 'just in case' but also as a way of asking for an update ;) Turns out they are now looking for a long term foster carer. We've sent a few emails back and forth and the next step will be my link worker speaking to A's SW on Monday. I'm hoping this is the one that will work out, as from A's profile she seems perfect, but at the same time I'm trying to not be too hopeful.

And just in case things don't work out, I started making some other calls. I have called my local authority to request an inital meeting as I know if I was with them, not an agency, I'd probably have had plenty of placements by now. This is likely to be a very slow process, so I should know the outcome of my enquiries into J and A before I get my visit.

I have also made a couple of enquiries into adoption. I'm quite disheartened with my fostering experience (or lack of!) and wanted to find out what age my daughter would have to be before I could look into adopting a younger child. A 2 or 3 year age gap is normally required so I'm going to go with the flow these next couple of years and if it looks like an option by the time my bubba is nearing 4, I'm going to follow up those calls with a serious enquiry.

A's profile

A is 11 years old.
Culture & Heritage: A's mother is white British and her father is dual heritage white British/ Mauritian. A is currently being cared for by a white foster carer.

A is described by her carer as a "joy to care for". She can initially be fairly shy, but becomes more chatty once she knows you. She is healthy and has formed a good relationship with her foster family.

Main Details:

A was removed from the care of her mother in 2005 following long standing concerns about the care that both A and her brother, F (aged 13), received from their mother, which was thought at times to have been abusive and neglectful.

A has been with her current foster carer since September 2006 and has settled in well and her foster carer reports that she is a joy to care for.

A is described by her foster carer as girly as she likes to look nice, is fashionable and enjoys putting on jewellery and make up. A enjoys many things: school, playing with her friends and peers, reading, swimming, drawing, playing on the computer, dancing at discos and dressing up. She also likes sports, such as football, cricket, running and skipping. A attends the local youth club and a Saturday drama and dance group. A also loves animals and would like to have a pet of her own in the future.

A's favourite programmes are Tracey Beaker on CBBC, The Sweet Life of Zac and Cody on the Disney Channel and Drake and Josh on Nickleodean television.

A finds it hard to express her emotions and take affection from her carer. She tends to be quite shy, although she has gained in confidence in the year that she has spent with her current foster carer. A can be very chatty, she engages well with adults, responds well to boundaries and enjoys being part of her foster carers extended family. A has self-care skills and social skills appropriate for her age. A is a good eater.

Education: When she was first removed from her mothers care A was behind her peers at school. A attends a mainstream school. Her favourite subjects are art, design, technology and PE. Her least favourite subject is science. A loves school and her teachers say she is well behaved. A is popular with her peers and is said to be caring towards her classmates.

Health: A is in good health. She continues to have three weekly sessions with her CAMHS worker where she can be encouraged to express any worries or difficulties she may have. There are no significant concerns about her mental health, and she will be supported through any future transition.

Legal status: A full care order was granted in August 2006.

Religion: A's father was raised as a Roman Catholic and her mother is nominally a member of the Church of England. However, A has not been encouraged to practice any religion.

Supervised contact with her mother once every two months;
Supervised contact with her maternal grandmother once a month;
Supervised contact with her brother once a month;
Al has also just started having contact with her maternal aunt, the frequency of which is currently under review.

Family sought: A two-parent family with children of a similar age, preferably with a two year gap either side. A needs a family who will give her confidence and stability, promote her interests and help her to develop her self-esteem and resilience. They will also need to recognise A's significant attachments to her birth family. Ideally the foster family will reflect A's ethnicity but this is not an essential requirement.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Twins and a self harming teenager

That was the call I got today. Six year old twin girls and their 14 year old sister. Wanted to know if I would take them.

Of course I would, as long as they'd be ok around my 2 year old. I know very little about what to expect so I trust my agency to only place children with me that wouldn't pose a risk to my daughter. They decided to discuss it further...

The call back this afternoon was disappointing. The older girl was very angry and destructive and the local authority wouldn't place them with me. There had been mention of me just having the twins but they want to keep them all together (which I totally understand).

Schools start back next week so I'm keeping my fingers crossed things will happen soon.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Child Protection training

I went to my first training session through my foster agency today.

I had a good time, I really enjoyed meeting the other foster carers and I learned a lot - not really much on the Child Protection side of things as I've done that training many times before, but lots of stuff about social services and foster agencies that I didn't know.

The manager of the agency was there and mentioned a referral they'd had for me - two school aged children - but the call she was waiting for never came, and it was another false alarm.

I also found out that many social workers take their holidays during school holidays... apparently this is the reason the agency haven't had many referrals. It makes sense, as the two social workers I've been trying to contact about two (seperate) children I want to be considered for (for a long term placement) are both out of the office until early September. I just wish the agency had thought of this and mentioned it to me before I ended all of my childminding contracts - I could've had 6 extra weeks of steady income!

But oh well, at least I've had a lovely relaxing summer, and I'm now very prepared for my foster kids when they get here :D

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Feeling frustrated

So much has happened in the last couple of months, and yet I still feel like I did all those months ago when I was first approved... I'm STILL waiting for my first foster placement....

At the beginning of June I moved from my lovely, affordable flat where my daughter was born to a bigger, more suitable place ready for foster kids. This house is nicer and perfect for children (all of the kids I look after have said they prefer it), but it's A LOT more money.

Soon after I moved I was offered my third possible placement - one that I really wanted to say yes to but couldn't because of my work - and made the decision to quit childminding so I would be available at short notice for the next referral that came my way. This was such a hard thing to do because not only was I letting the families down, I was also putting myself in a situation where I had no idea when I'd be earning again and yet had higher rent and bills to pay.

A month after moving (with the house still only half unpacked!) I went away on holiday with my family for 2 weeks. I really needed the break and it was great relaxing and watching my daughter enjoy herself and learn so much. I called the foster agency the Monday after we got back, and I was informed that while I was away they'd had a referral specifically for me - siblings aged six and one - but with it being an emergency the local authority couldn't wait for me to return to place the children. It was so disappointing to hear that another placement had passed me by. Especially one where the kids were perfect ages.

That week I worked my last full week childminding - an exhausting 50 something hours! Luckily one of the families was happy for me to carry on minding their child with the knowledge that I may have to cancel at very short notice. This has been great for me as it means I'm still earning some income and also only working a couple of 10 hour days a week. I get a bit of a break and it keeps my daughter entertained too which is great!

On Wednesday 30th July I had a call while I was in the park with my daughter and a friend. The agency had had a referral and I was told to be ready in case the children needed placing. I rushed home and spent the rest of the day tidying the house and organising things so the kids could move in the next day. At 4.30pm on Thursday I got a call saying the case was still in court and I would be informed of the outcome the next day. I waited and waited for the call on Friday but it never came so I called the office first thing on Monday morning to find out what was happening. A few hours later I was told that the placing authority wanted to keep all four kids together (not split them 2 and 2 as I'd been told previously) and had found other carers.

The next day I had a call to say they'd had another referral - an adoption breakdown. I agreed to take the child but didn't hear anymore. I then got a call on the Wednesday - they'd had a referral for 2 children aged 10 and 12. I asked what was happening with the first one and was told that he couldn't be placed with younger children, so would I take this new referral. I reminded the agency that I was only approved for up to age 7 which caused a lot of flapping at the other end of the phone. I was told they would get back in touch with the local authority and call me back... as usual, no word so I called them the next day - no the children couldn't be placed with me, and what a silly age limit I had, it really should be upped to 12. Well, that's what I asked for to begin with, it was my link worker who suggested age 7 to panel, but somehow I'm made to feel its my fault...

I know it's only been two weeks since I've actually been free to take emergency placements but this whole thing is starting to get to me again. I feel like I'm waiting for the phone to ring every day, and am constantly on edge in case they want to place kids and I'm not ready. I still don't have the foster kids bedroom set up, but not knowing what ages the kids might be means I can't really do anything. I think the worst bit though is the way the agency deal with things. They never seem to know the facts about my situation or my approval (several times I've had to remind them that my daughter is 2, tell them how many bedrooms I have, state the ages I'm approved for). And when they say they'll call and then don't. I'm starting to feel like I'm only important to them when they can use me - they don't seem to realise that right now I'm putting everything on hold for them and it might be nice them to actually call when they promise they will. I'm starting to wonder if maybe I should have gone with another agency. I'm going to give them a year from my approval (ie until October this year) and if things haven't happened by then I might just have to see about moving to another agency.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Possible placement #3

The one I missed out on.

I would have taken the children but my childminding work meant I couldn't. The children were aged 3 and 1. I look after two children aged 3 and 2 and am at my limit for children aged under 5. I have thought A LOT about these children and wished I could have said yes.

The day of the referral I ended up speaking to the manager of the fostering agency and she didn't sound too pleased with me. She told me I had to choose which was more important, fostering or childminding. I was a little defensive to start with. But then I realised she was right.

I had begun childminding to earn some money whilst I was waiting to start fostering. It's just having the relationship with, and committment to, my mindees and their parents changed things slightly. It's not something you can stop suddenly without upsetting people and feeling guilty. However, fostering is what I wanted to do first, and there was a reason for that. The children I mind have good, loving families. They'll be fine if they have to move to another childminder. I want to make a real difference to children's lives, for children who can't live with their birth parents.

So today I've written letters to the parents of my minded children, giving them notice to terminate their contracts. I know it's not going to please them but it's something I have to do. And in 4 weeks time I'll be free to accept any emergency placement that the agency send my way.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Possible placement #2

I had a call from my agency last week... they'd had a referral from a local authority and were looking to place two children - siblings, one aged 3 years, the other 10 months. They wanted to check I would accept the placement. I said yes despite the fact I am in the middle of packing to move!

I then had a call back a few hours later saying the children had been placed with LA carers and I wouldn't be needed after all. I was disappointed and relieved at the same time... I think things may have been a little crazy if they had been placed with me, boxes everywhere and three kids under 4!

There was mention of another possible placement next week - older siblings aged 9 and 7 - so I'm hoping things are about to happen. It's starting to look like I really am moving house for a reason...

Monday, 19 May 2008

Placement sought: Foster Care

This is the profile of a child I enquired about today. I'm very keen to be considered. Now starts that awful waiting time where everything moves much too slowly and I just want to know whether we could be considered a match!

J is 12 years old.

Culture & Heritage: White British mother; Black British father of Jamaican heritage

Family sought: Within 120 minutes travel of the borough.

J is a lovely child who can be quiet at times and does not always openly express her feelings on occasions. She lacks confidence and due to early life experiences of parenting, has low self esteem which is improving.
J is healthy, although she is asthmatic, has a positive sense of her identity and responds to praise, encouragement, gentle but consistant boundaries. She enjoys reading,watching Tracey Beaker, working on computer, ice skating and outdoor activities.

Physical Development
J is developing well, using an inhaler mainly after games at school for ashtma. She has had eczema in the past but this has now cleared. She has a poor sleeping pattern at times and has been provided with strategies to manage this.

Emotional Development
J has developed a good relationship with her carer and interacts well on a one to one basis. She has a network of friends.
She has found it difficult to accept the plan for permanency and can be emotionally fragile, becoming easily upset.
She is currently seen by the Clinical Psychologist. Has engaged with the process and interacts well.

J is a bright child who is achieving and progressing well. She is studious, motivated and enjoys attending school but is finding Math challenging.

J is cutrrently on an Interim Care Order and the plan for her is to to be placed with permanent foster carers. Final hearing will commence at the end of May.

It is envisaged that J will have direct contact with her birth mother 4 times a year, birth father 2 times a year and sister C (being placed separately) every month. J will also have annual indirect contact with her older and younger siblings and possible direct contact with paternal grandparents 4 times a year

We are looking for a dual heritage family of either one or two parents who can refect her ethnicity, race and culture. J would like to be a member of a large family with younger or older children who are active and interested in outdoor activities.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

My first possible placement

I had an urgent call last week. My agency had had a referral for a child that needed placing immediately. I was told it was a short term placement that would run for a couple of months. I was so excited to finally get that call!

Sadly, the child's info was sent to me and there was no way I could accept the placement. Not only do I have my own daughter to think about, but I've recently started childminding to earn an income that I wasn't getting from the (lack of) fostering work. Taking this child would have put the other children at risk, and there's no way I could do that.

I felt bad for saying no. Having read about the child, I wanted to be able to help. It also made me sad - it was the first detailed info I had seen on a child and it really brought home some of the awful experiences these children go through. I think the bit that surprised me was my desire to accept this placement - I thought I'd given up on the fostering but getting this call made me realise that it's still something I really want to do.

So much so that I went on the internet that evening and searched for houses that would be more suitable for looking after a foster child. I want to be in a position to accept the next referral I get, and having that extra bedroom would make it much easier. I've been looking for a property for over 6 months now with no luck - either they're not what I'm after or I love the house and the landlord won't accept my situation. I spotted one that evening that looked good and called to leave a message. I viewed the next day and it was PERFECT. It had only just gone on the market, is being totally refurbished, I was the first to view (I made sure of that!) and the landlord seemed happy to accept me (he's now questioning the age of potential foster children, but I'm hoping it won't be an issue). It's situations like this that I really believe that someone or something is showing me the way. Each time a house fell through I told myself it wasn't meant to be and the right one would show up... it's just kind of spooky it happened the same day I got that call. I'm not particularly religious but if I believe in God it's definitely moments like these!

Anyway, I'm currently going through the reference checks and hopefully, if all goes like I expect it to and the landlord doesn't change his mind, we'll be moving early June.

I just hope this all ties in with my first proper placement :)

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Children who wait

I've just had the return call about one of the girls I had enquired about. They are looking for a couple, and any children in the family must be several years older.

I wondered if this was the case.

This little girl has been featured for a long time. Initially it was with her younger sister, and later on, on her own. Her profile disappeared for a while, and has just been put back up on the site. All of this made me think the poor little thing probably has some very serious issues. The social worker confirmed this, and said a single person would not be able to cope as they would be lacking that someone else to hand over to when things got really tough.

It makes me so sad to think what this little girl must have been through in the short time she was with her birth family. My heart goes out to her and all the other children who have suffered/are suffering from abuse of any kind.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Ah well, start again

Anyone who checks my blog has probably already guessed that things didn't go too well with the meeting.

My link worker was great and got here almost an hour before the children's social workers to reassure me, talk me through possible questions etc. I had a list of questions I wanted to ask and lots of other info ready to prove I could be a good match for these children. I didn't have the children's information; we found out at the start of the meeting that this should have been sent, but neither I nor my agency had received it, so I still don't know the full facts about the children.

The social workers seemed to have decided from the start that I was not what they were looking for. They were concerned that a single person with a young child would not be able to manage with these children, and would not be able to give them what they needed. The family finder kept saying that the reason they had come to see me was not based on my homestudy but on the commitment I had shown in calling for regular updates. Fat lot of good that did! My link worker did a fab job, and at one point it did seem like we had convinced the social workers otherwise. They stayed longer than expected, and even talked through the financial aspects with my link worker, but looking back now it does all seem like a big waste of time.

I was given a date at the end of the month for feedback but ended up calling two days later as I was so concerned I hadn't 'sold myself' well enough that I had written a very long email explaining in more detail how I could parent these children. That also proved to be fairly pointless; when I spoke to the family finder she said they had seen the final couple who they were very happy with, and were going to proceed with that match. She said again that I should consider one child only and that was that.

I was very disappointed, and spent the next few days thinking how I would give up on the idea of fostering altogether. The trouble is, I know it's something I want/need/have to do and I can never stick with my decision to quit! When I called my agency to give them the feedback, I also asked to amend my age range, so that I could be considered for a wider age range and hopefully increase my chances of having a child placed through the agency. I have asked for ages birth to 7, rather than 4 to 7, but I still wonder if I should have been firmer from the beginning and stuck with birth to 11. I have also asked them, again, to please consider me for respite or short term placements.

Over the weekend I was browsing an adoption/fostering site that features children's profiles and came across two little girls who both need long term foster placements. I have now contacted one social worker who asked for my Form F (homestudy), and am trying to get in touch with the second one. One child is aged 6 and the other is 11. If I had to write an example of the kind of child I would like to be matched with, I would be describing the 11 year old almost exactly. It's so hard not to get all hopeful over these children, but I need to start thinking I won't be chosen. A family member is currently being assessed to care for the 11 year old, and I have no doubt this would be the best outcome for her, so there's probably even less chance of me being considered. I just wish I could do the job I set out to do.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Monday 17th March 2008

That's the date!

My link worker, the family finder and the children's social worker will be coming to see me at 11am.

I have also asked a friend to come round to keep my daughter and the little boy I mind occupied so we are able to talk relatively undisturbed.

So a full house!

I can't believe it's happening, I'm feeling nervous already. Apparently I'm one of three families they're visiting, and the family finder told my link worker that I'm high up there because of my persistance. I really hope it pays off.

I now need to read up on Special Guardianship and Every Child Matters, and keep working on my list of questions that I want to ask on the day.

Wish me luck!!

Friday, 22 February 2008

Some good news at last!!

I am so happy to be posting this! :D

But first, an update...

I had taken a break from it all, as I said in my last post, and left it to my agency to find me a placement. Well, no change there - the most I had from them was the occasional email saying they were still waiting/looking for a suitable match. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with everything they've done for me so far, and my link worker is a lovely lady, I guess I'm just a little disappointed with the lack of possible placements... I really thought I wouldn't be waiting long after approval, but it seems I knew very little about the system. But still, I guess everything happens for a reason, and maybe this is that reason?

Anyway, the January edition of the magazine I get didn't feature any children needing long term foster care so I had another month of concentrating on other stuff.

Then the February edition came. I had a funny feeling about it the day before it arrived and when I opened the envelope two beautiful faces were staring up at me - a brother and sister, just the right age, needing a permanent foster placement. I tried to call the family finder several times and finally got through to her the following week (she just happened to be the same lady I have spoken to many times before about two other sibling pairs). It was a no from the start, the children are black and have only known black families, so considering me would not be possible. But, she said, if it was a dual heritage pair I was calling about, such as the children I had enquired about previously, then things might be different. I hung up the phone feeling sad and emailed my agency to say it had been a no.

Then I got to thinking about the children I had been phoning about since I began my homestudy in summer 07. The children had been (and still are) featured on a website as looking for either adoption or LTFC. From reading the two profiles, I had my heart set on one pair from the beginning, and their's is the profile I showed my link worker when I suggested LTFC as a possibility. They are the children I called about the day I was approved. They have also been featured in the magazines, but each time it has been stated they are looking for adoption only. I had been told to wait until after Christmas and then call to see what the situation was but, with my lack of enthusiasm recently, I hadn't called back, assuming as they weren't in the January edition of the magazine they must have been matched with a family.

The family finder mentioning their names had me wondering and I decided to call her back. This time things were very different! She told me that no, they hadn't found a family, and yes, they would now be looking for a LT foster family for them. I said I was still interested, to which she replied she was very glad I had called back and asked for a copy of my homestudy to pass onto the children's social worker! My agency forwarded a copy last Tuesday, 12th February...

As seems to be the case when dealing with social services, I heard nothing back. I know how slowly things can move, so I gave her a week and called back yesterday. Apparently I'm psychic as each time I call she was just talking about me / just about to call me. Anyway, this time she'd been singing my praises (her words!) to the children's social worker and wanted to arrange a date to visit me to show me their file and discuss any issues. Wow! At last!

So now I have the task of contacting my link worker for a date she can do (as often seems to be the case, she's on annual leave at the moment) and then we'll finally find out, after months of waiting, whether we might actually be a match.

I'd love to post a photo but I'm not sure if it's allowed. The children are adorable. They're described as 'very sociable and friendly children who are a delight to have around'. The family finder says their short term carer loves them to bits. They have such cheeky smiles and twinkling eyes, a little mischievous looking and definitely full of life. I can't wait for this next bit! :D