Report for permanence panel
M was admitted to (children's home) on 03/12/85 under 1980 Act Section 2 beyond parental Control. Prior to M's placement with us he had spent six months at the Children's Unit XXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX, for observations and assessment with his sister J. M was discharged to mum on 25/10/85 where he remained for six weeks before being placed with us. At the time of placement it was felt M needed a stable environment where he would be able to relinquish his responsibilities his mother placed upon him. The children's home was felt to be the right placement for M thus allowing M to stay at his present school where he was settled. M is at this time achieving well.
Because M has always played a parental role in J's life there was a lot of anger and resentment inside M directed at J and the question arose as to whether we should look for two separate placements for them. After much discussion it was felt that J and M had a strong bonding to each other but a lot of work was needed to strengthen this to become a more positive brother/sister relationship rather than the adult/child relationship. M's desire is to be fostered with his sister.
SITUATION IN PRESENT PLACEMENT AT (CHILDREN'S HOME)
M is now XX years old. he is of slight build and enjoys playing and watching football. he is an active boy and is very settled in the home. He presents very few problems, but does, however, have a very devious way about him. M will often be the cause of trouble but appears to be in the background (silent leader). During his time at his present placement he has become a popular boy both with staff and children alike. he is very presentable and always likes thing sin an orderly fashion. M keeps his own belongings and bedroom very tidy, sometimes maybe to the point of obsession. Over the time M has been with us we have seen a big change in him. He has developed a sense of humour and has moved forward with his relationships building and recognition of respect for others feelings showing a mature response at times.
M is a XX year pupil at XXXX XXXX (school). At first M found his place in his new school difficult after leaving his previous school where he was thought of as a model pupil. As the time has developed M is now enjoying his new school, settling in well keen to do his homework. he is making new friends at school and finding his position more acceptable. M is a bright boy at school and is expected to be in the top stream for his academic achievement.
DIRECT WORK THERAPY SESSIONS
M found the work in the special room both painful and difficult at times but has been keen to spend the time with his social worker and keyworker together, where he has been given the time and a safe place to express his feelings of anger and hurt. The work that has been done with M has centred around family life - brother, sister relationships and whom carried the responsibility for whom. This has enabled M to look at his past with a better understanding in order to help him move on. M does not now feel he is responsible for coming into care and nor does he blame his sister. This alone has but a better relationship between the two of them.
Access arrangements for both the children have at times proved confusing and difficult.
Fathers access arrangements are a visit for the children together to fathers home once a month, where they spend the day with father, stepmother and baby C. Both M and J adore C and speak freely about her. The relationship with step mother has improved for both children as time has gone on with it often being step mum to return them to the (children's home). There was a time when father would promise to visit but this never materialised. When this happened it caused confusion in both children. father is aware of these feelings and has now endeavoured to keep the times arranged. The children now look forward to these visits.
Mothers access arrangements are one hour visits weekly, which have never proved to be that successful, with mum arriving and maybe staying for as little as 15 minutes. The visits to (the children's home) have ceased since she moved out of the town and the pregnancy then arrival of her daughter in August. However the children have been to visit mum with their keyworker at home and in the hospital. Both children love their mother and look forward to the visits and feel a great amount of dissapointment when she does not arrive.
Grandparents - There is no set access plan with grandparents but there does, however, tend to be regular visits during school holidays when the children have overnight stays at our discretion. These times are very positive for the children and they both love their grandparents, with their grandparents being the most stable and positive adults in the children's lives.
M and J have now been in residential care since 1985, during which time they have both had to face up to the reality of not returning home. Whilst this has been extremely difficult to do they have, however, reached the stage where they see their future being with a substitute family and talk freely about this.
J has always said that she wants to be fostered and wants us to find foster parents for her, whereas M has not been so committed and has said he would sooner stay in the home. With the time and the work that has been done with both those children they are looking to the future more positively and see their future as being together in a family with access to their own parents and grandparents. M and J need a coupe who can take on board the two different personalities these children have, and offer them a stable and caring home to live, alongside, accepting the need for the children to keep contact with their natural parents. Both children now feel they are ready for a move t a family together as brother and sister where they can have a new beginning to family life which has become very apparent as being what they want. Both children have been involved in some groupwork about fostering and what it means, during which time they have showed an understanding and commitment to it. In the present situation I now feel m and J are ready to move forward into a substitute family.
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