It is when I look back at the life I have had,
And the things I thought normal, at my Mum and my dad,
And yet it was so easy, experience full,
Not much was lacking, my glass was well full.
So I look with amazement as the referral comes in,
The chid is anxious and the child is thin,
He hasn’t had much and he didn’t go there,
His parent abusive, aggressive and swear.
So we jump on the story, he grows in my mind,
And we look through our list for our one perfect find,
And there in the middle with so much to give,
Is John and is Tina and somewhere to live.
So it starts with a phone call and description of how,
This his poor little mite is an emergency now,
The foster care sighs because they’ve heard it before,
They’ve made a decision that need not know more.
So we send off the profile and then we must wait,
We’ve done all we can and the matching is great,
The carer is nervous, excited though too,
Brain already thinking about the things they could do.
And then comes the call, they have jumped in a car,
It won’t take them long as they’re not coming far,
With things barely ready and no food to cook,
The process was quicker then they said in the book.
But the carer gets ready with the help of her friend,
Sending him shopping with an emergency spend,
She runs about manic, her duster in hand,
It would have been tidier if the child was planned.
And then he is here with social worker in tow,
He stands on the doorstep his head bowing low,
You can see he is anxious, why shouldn’t he be,
He’s never seen Tina and never seen me.
And there starts a journey of getting to know,
Of asking some questions, of taking it slow,
And a new set of feelings arise for those there,
As the story comes out of a life that’s unfair.
And surprise at the lack of experience and choice,
For the child that had nothing not even a voice,
So plans start right then of places to go,
Of new things to see and new thing to know.
And first is the seaside which he has not before seen,
He looks at the water like some sort of dream,
As he gently walks forward, waves hitting his toes,
They both smile broadly at the child they chose.
Written By Tim McArdle (Head of Placement & Recruitment) representing his experience of matching, placing and the feelings of the foster families who support new life experiences for children coming into care.