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Nexus Fostering took a referral of a mother, Maddie, and her two children who were both under 3 years old. There seemed to be a risk and serious parenting capacity concerns.
Maddie arrived to her foster carer Christine on her 21st birthday, devoid of any family support or communication, and was welcomed to placement with a small gift on her bed. Nexus Fostering’s first impression of the mother was that she had made good material provision for the children and observation suggested a strong attachment, interaction and bond between all three.
She seemed to lack support and help, but the level of concern expressed by her Social Worker didn't appear to match when Christine observed the effort Maddie had already made with her children.
Given the differing views of the placing Social Worker and the Foster Carer, the agency worked with the carer to present more objective evidence of mum Maddie's competence. With some further training, Christine learned to substantiate the good efforts she observed in her recording by corroborating views of other professionals involved in the case (such as the health visitor, Sure Start, and nursery staff).
When Maddie arrived, she was severely lacking in confidence so Christines consistent affirming praise went a long way to helping her feel like she was actually doing a good job, rather than someone who needed ‘policing’ at every step.
In the end, the children provided the evidence themselves; passing their developmental checks with progress indicators well over and above their age. The family are now living together independently in the community. Mum couldn’t thank the carer enough.