Thursday, 25 April 2013

Back to panel

Our social worker Jane came to see us for a couple of hours this morning. She comes about every six weeks to do what's called a Supervision meeting - basically checking up on us to see how we're getting on, to see how Jack-Jack's progressing and to listen to any of our concerns.

Six weeks seems to be a turning point for us - by this point we're generally feeling pretty worn down, under-valued and fairly negative about "the system", with a long list of issues to raise. We have a great chat and a bit of a moan over a cup of tea, and when Jane leaves we feel rejuvenated again. We've definitely had a fair few wobbles over the last couple of months and have wondered whether this is really for us, but Jane is so encouraging, takes us seriously and reminds us how much Jack-Jack is thriving in our care.

Jack-Jack really is doing fantastically well. He's had a huge growth spurt, walks pushing a baby walker, eats us out of house and home and his night time sleep and naps are improving. Rather than being in his own little world and just screaming when he needed something, he's now making strides in wanting to interact with us - he wants to play, he reaches out to be picked up, and he's starting to gesture to things that he wants. Over the last few days he's also started calling both of us "mumumumumum" (very embarrassing when he did this in front of the social worker this morning, but he also refers to our dog Lady as this as well as various household objects so it doesn't mean anything!) He just seems so much more settled and happier overall and now does these infectious belly laughs when being chased or tickled rather than just smiling.

Jane supports our decision to take a second placement, but as we're only officially approved for "one child (two if siblings)", we apparently have to go back to Panel to have this amended. All foster carers in our LA have to have an annual review and go back to Panel every year anyway, but as our annual review isn't due until December, Jane is going to do an early one for us next month, after which she'll write her report and set a Panel date. We're not sure whether we have to attend or not, hopefully it's a formality as both Jane and her manager think we're doing great! We're allowed to take a placement in the mean time under a temporary extension to our approval - Jane is going to inform the duty team asap (she may have actually done this today), and we could get a call any day now...

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