06 August 2015

 How One Phone Call Can Change Many Lives 

At Diverse Care we are proud to have so many wonderful Foster Parents who are committed to ensuring the very best outcomes for the children and young people they care for. The following account is a perfect example of this, and of the kind of work that goes on ‘behind the scenes’ that many people may not be aware of.

The level of dedication shown by Victoria and her family over the past few months has been incredible and has touched all of us here at Diverse Care. Victoria went above and beyond the call of duty to avoid any further disruption to the life of a little boy who her family care very much about.

Here is what happened, in Victoria’s words:

It all started off with a referral phone call to my Mum and Dad, who are Foster Parents for Diverse Care. A little boy, J, needed to move from his foster placement at the end of that week.

 

We was all running around the house and buying new things. Changing the room around to suit a little boy. Our lives were about to change forever.

 

I came home from work and there he was, a young child playing with his toys. J’s behaviour was challenging to start with but gradually improved. He went to a lovely pre-school who gave him a lot of support, he made friends, and he became part of our family. After eleven months the time came for another change. J was being adopted.

 

Introductions went well and we all wished him all the best. A kiss goodbye and he was gone. The hardest part of looking after children is saying goodbye, but this was a happy goodbye. It meant a new future for J, the best we could have wished for.

 

During this time I had changed my job and started working as a receptionist for Diverse Care, which I really enjoyed. One day I was sitting at my desk, snacking (as my colleague Maxine would agree I did best!), when the phone rang. I picked it up and everything just stopped in the room, I didn't know what to think, or what to do. J needed our help. Unfortunately the adoption was breaking down.

...It is a sad fact that many adoptions break down -- far more than people may expect. The Strathclyde report suggests that up to 60% of adoptions end in disruption. 

We desperately wanted him back but there sadly wasn't much we was able to do as a family. My parents no longer had a spare bedroom available due to having a sibling group living with us. We couldn't let J go through another move to strangers. Myself and my family was coming up with different ideas to help him but none of them would have worked.

 

I thought to myself, what if I become J’s Foster Parent? I talked to my parents but they weren't very keen on the idea as I am only 20 years old, but I couldn't let him go anywhere else. I had to have him back. Everyone including his local authority thought this was the best outcome for him.

 

Another phone call. “Can you please collect him tomorrow afternoon?”

 

But there were a few hurdles to get over quickly. I wasn't a Foster Parent, and I didn't have anywhere to live with J. My boyfriend Kieran was very supportive and agreed that he wanted to be part of J’s life.

 For the next 24 hours our team worked tirelessly in collaboration with J’s Local Authority Social Worker to approve Victoria and her boyfriend as Foster Parents. As an organisation this is something we had never done before. So, as confident as we all were that this was definitely the best decision for J’s well-being, we wanted to be sure that there could be no question that everything was done properly.

Diverse Care and J's Local Authority made it possible that we could be his Foster Parents. Who knew I was about to have the biggest change of my life; moving out of my parents’ and into our own house, changing my job, and having a little boy to care for.

 

My emotions was all over the place, I was so excited, scared, worried, everything was running around in my head. That evening we rushed to the shops to set his bedroom up ready for the next morning, and moved out of my parents’ house - all in the same evening. That night we didn't sleep, knowing that with fostering everything can change in a second. Until we had him back I didn't know what to do with myself.

 

The time came to drive and collect J. There he was, with the biggest smile on his face. He jumped up to cuddle me. I knew this was the best choice I made at this moment. Seeing the smile on his face.

 

J has settled back with us as if he had never been away and will be starting school in September with all his friends.

 

I can't thank Diverse Care enough for all the help and support they have given me to make this happen in the little time we had.

This is an example of absolute child focussed work and would not have been possible without the full co-operation of the Local Authority involved. Piecing together legislation not designed for use in the manner with which we implemented it - stretched some creative minds to their limits. However, there is an overriding concept that we at Diverse Care hold firmly, that ‘where the welfare of a child is at stake, we will move mountains’, and never has this been more true. We would like to wish Victoria and Kieran continued success in their ‘new career’ and know that ‘J’ will continue to thrive.

 

Image credit: raumrot

 

written by

Stephanie Harris

Social Media & Creative Arts

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 16 August 2017 09:24

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