And so she should. I take a hard line on this one. The Social Services had rehoused her in a a refuge, in a distant town, away from danger. We, who care for, her breathed a sigh of relief: we thought she was safe. Then she listens to one , "I'm sorry, I've changed" story, and herself and her babies are once again at risk. Her Key Worker had no choice but to remove them.
I know this, and wouldn't argue with it, but I am a mother. I felt my heart breaking for Alice who thought she'd lost her children for good, and I cried with her. Sometimes, that all you can do.
That was six months ago. I saw Alice today, and she was a different woman. She radiated happiness.
She doesn't have her babies back, but neither have they been adopted away from her. Alice has been given a second chance. Someone, in authority, decided to go the extra mile. It must have been hard work, and intensive. A lot of effort and a calculated risk.
She is being rehoused a second time, in another town. She has goals to meet: regular testing, parenting classes, and another agreement to stay away from 'dad' when he leaves prison in April. If she stays on track, her children WILL be returned to her. The Alice i saw today, is willing and capable, to do all that is necessary. I'm sure she will succeed.
Practically all the stories you hear about Social Workers are negative. It's a sad fact that when they make mistakes, there's a possibility that someone dies, and those mistakes are paraded in front of us so that we might pour scorn on the 'failures' that led to this or that scandal. My mistakes cost me a slap on the wrist, theirs, cost them their jobs. How anyone ever wants to take it on in the first place, beats me.
In my work, as today's story bears witness to, I see another side of the story. A compassionate person who might not have been able to weep with Alice, did something far more dramatic. He, or she, put their career on the line to give Alice her life back.
Thank you, whoever you are.