We’ve said some goodbyes over the last two weeks. Firstly to our Social Worker who came to the end of her placement for her course, so has moved on. She has to finish her course with dissertations and other such academic things, then she’ll be starting her new job. We have enjoyed working with her and really appreciate the hard work she has put in to getting us as far as we did within the time she had with us. There were some hiccups along the way, and we still aren’t absolutely certain of the future, but she was there with us through it all in a supporting role, no doubt getting frustrated with things just as we were.
Her role has been taken over by her supervisor, the Senior Practitioner assigned to us. While this isn’t technically a ‘hello’ as we met her a few times prior to her taking over (especially during the hiccup period where she took control of things a bit), but we are now seeing and hearing from her directly.
The other goodbye was to my mother-in-law, who we gave a good send off to at her funeral. She will be greatly missed, and the lives of our children will be slightly worse for not having her directly involved in them, but her legacy and influence will live on through the way we will raise them and that is the important thing. She will be remembered.
The next thing on our list is meeting the foster carer of the children, this was meant to happen last week but illness in their family prevented us from going. This is at the foster carer’s house which is about as far away from us as you can get while still being within the area controlled by our local authority (over an hour’s drive excluding the all-too-common traffic delays that blight this area). I am very nervous about this meeting, I’m not sure why, me being me probably, although the family finder social worker has told us that the foster carer is also feeling nervous and excited about meeting us. We have quite a long list of questions to ask her, but I’m hoping that the meeting will take a more conversational tone, so we aren’t sitting there firing questions at her for two hours!
On the same day we also will be meeting the Medical Adviser who will answer any questions on the health concerns we have about the children. This has taken a slight back seat to working out what to ask the foster carer, we do have some questions but there haven’t been any particular health issues flagged up to us for us to have many concerns, so they’ll probably be more generic ones and ‘what ifs’.
The children have also been assigned a new social worker, so we’ll also be meeting her on the same day as well, fortunately that will be in the same building as the Medical Adviser, otherwise we’d be zipping around the county all day! The good news is the venue for these meetings is closer to the foster carer’s home than it is to ours, so actually it saves us some journey time by having them all on the same day.
We have been given a couple of tasks to do, one being a ‘welcome book’ for each of the children. This is basically a photo album introducing us and our home, along with some of our close relatives, to the children so they can become familiar with what we look like before actually meeting us. The other task is a video, for similar purposes. We’ve been given examples of both of these things so we’ll be working to get those done as soon as we can.
We have also been given a date for our Matching Panel, which is like the Approval Panel with a similar format of up to 10 panel members asking us and the Social Workers questions, attempting to figure out if we are a good match for the children. This is the final hurdle before getting to meet them and is at the same venue as our Approval Panel which means that a lot of the members may well be the same people as before.
We have also almost finished the children’s bedroom. We have done it fairly generically at the moment with a few things to personalise it to the children, but we’ll be able to do a bit more customisation once we’ve spoken to the foster carer about them.