Saturday, 12 December 2015

My first months as a foster child in St Albans - Part 2

A few days after I went into foster care I told my Social Worker how sad and disappointed I was that I wasn't living like a member of a family at all and that living in the foster home reminded me of a horrible Bed and Breakfast place that Mum and I had once stayed in over in Cromer.

I don't know exactly what my Foster Parents had been told about what they were expected to do to help me in exchange for the money they were being paid but what I do know was they didn't do much.

They knew that my Dad was dead and that Mum was in a mental hospital but perhaps they thought that it wasn't their job to deal with anything apart from my physical needs? I wonder if they thought that my school or my social worker dealt with everything to do with my worries or the sadness I sometimes felt after visiting Mum in hospital?

My bedroom was fine and I had enough to eat so nobody should think that my foster parents didn't do that part of their job because they did. What they didn't do was any of the things that "proper parents" would do if their child was feeling lonely or upset.

I'm sure they were not neglectful on purpose. I just don't think that they realised it was their job to be a substitute family for me. Looking back their way of doing the job they were paid to do did cause some strange situations!

My Foster Parents used to go to the cinema about once a month (usually the Odean but sometimes the Gaumont) but in all the time I lived with them they never once took me with them. The Gaumont was further away so they used to go there in the car. I can remember two or three times when I watched the same film as them at the same time but with me walking there and back and the two of them going in the car!

My Foster Dad wasn't a great fan of football but about six times a season he would drive over to Luton to watch a game. I used to go more often but only when I had enough spare money of my own to pay the fare and then the admission charge to the Oak Road End. Surely it must have felt strange to him that the two of us were going to exactly the same place but that he wasn't taking me or paying for me?

I never got to love or respect either of them and I think that was a shame because if they had made a bit more effort I think it would have been easier for all three of us to share a house for 2 years. I also think that the Social Workers might have tried a bit harder to find my a placement with people that wanted me rather than with people who just put up with me. 

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