We cleaned, we scrubbed, we removed cobwebs so big I expected to find some of those Dirty Little Hobbits trapped in them, and finally at 4.50pm we were ready for our 5pm visit from LSW (Lovely Social Worker). Just enough time for Mr Mooglet (Mr M) to clean the last of Shelobs webs from his hair.
LSW arrived, accepted a water and asked if we had any burning questions before she started. We bit the bullet and went straight for the finance questions. There seemed little point in taking this further if it turned out that fostering was only financially possible if we moved into my parent’s garden shed. I can happily confirm that while it won’t see me swanning around in designer clothing or taking month long holidays in Mauritius, the allowance is enough that won’t we need to share a living room a lawnmower and some slug pellets.
With that out they way we wowed LSW with a tour of our home, and she was lovely about all she saw. She was even polite about our more shabby, less chic bathroom. Even when, in the interest of full disclosure, I pointed out the crumbling grouting. Apparently all that mattered was it being clean. She did laugh at my large chandelier in my small kitchen, but its high enough that children can’t swing from it, so thats ok. Our spare bedroom is both chandelier free and big enough for a sibling pair, perhaps even a trio if they were young.
Then we got down to business, much was a repeat of the questions asked when we met the first time but in far greater details, the rest was new info for us, discussions of what we ideally wanted and what things we could expect from them and from the children we might care for. For example could we cope with a child who engaged in Smearing? Smearing?? Smearing Poo, on themselves, around the house, on clean laundry etc. Erm.. well maybe not for a first placement. But I had to ask – thats a behavior children outgrow right? LSW sadly shook her head “not always”. Well I worked in a nightclub for a few years, and THAT would explain the state of the toilets some nights.
After 3 hours were all still smiling. We’d talked about why we wanted to do this, our health, our life, our relationship with our parent and the children in our lives. LSW said the only drawback to our situation was that we had no direct parenting experience. This isn’t a deal breaker, it just means we’ll need the right placements to gain experience (perhaps doing some weekend respite care to start) and will need some extra support at first. LSW was thrilled that our support network included family, friends who are already parents, are adopting themselves or who work in education. When mom called after about 2 hours to hear how it had gone LSW said “Tell her its going very well!” Indeed it was, so she asked the big question – caveating that we didn’t have to answer right away – Did we want to progress?
I looked at Mr M, he looked at me and I answered for us – “I haven’t heard anything that has changed my mind, yes we want to progress”
We had already adjusted to possibility of finding poo in the laundry.