I’ve had a very hard day. Very trying and I am so unsettled now. And I am also pissed off, upset, feeling depressed, etc. Its all because there are a ton of problems with my transportation i.e funding for taxi’s. It all started when I decided to ring the taxi company that I use and ask them if I could arrange a set price for going to school, since I knew I’d be paying towards those taxi’s. I made out my weekly income, and I can pay 50 euro towards transport for school, but no more. So I was ringing to ask them to make me a deal and do it for a set fare, since I always use the same company and all the drivers know me. Ok so the girl I spoke to who is the accounts manager, said she’d recived this email from my case manager at Cara Nua, which is the organisation that funds my medical appointments, and also my taxi’s to the basement club. So she’d recieved an email and it said from the end of August there would be no more funding allocated to me, and to close my account. I knew nothing about any of this so as you can imagine I was very surprised. She told me she’d gotten really annoyed with ~Adrian, whose my case manager, on the phone, because he came across as cold, abrupt, etc. I told her that I felt that when I’d spoken to him last week about the grant I was to get for college that he’d seemed like that to me too. So now I’m stuck and am not sure if I’ll have transportation to my appointments with Dr Barry, Mark and Karen O my nutritionist. My taxi’s to Eileen are safe as another organisation pays for those. I decided to ring Karen R, the now team leader but who most of you know as Dr Barrys social worker. I spent literally all afternoon trying to get hold of her, but she wasnt in her office. Eventually I left a message asking her to call me back and at 10 to 5 she called me. We talked and she said that she’d email Adrian tomorrow, and ask to look at my outgoings for the past few weeks, she said he’d said in his email to her, because yes, he also emailed Karen R, and said that they were suspending my account but maybe it could be reviewed if they had a clear schedule of when exactly I’d be using the taxi’s and for what. So Karen R said she’d let him know that I need taxi’s for my 3 appointments, two of which are weekly and one is monthly. That was one crisis kinda solved. The other thing that happened today was about school and again more taxi issues. When I met the manager of the college a few months back and I told him I would need help with funding my transport he was ok with that, and went so far as to tell me he’d be able to give me 100 euro a week towards my transport needs. I made it up today, after I’d gotten a set price from the company I’d be using, and it will cost 150 euro a week to go to and from school…15 euro each way. So knowing that, I called him and asked him if he’s still giving me the grant towards costs of transport. He said how much, and when I told him 100 Euro he was like, um, I am not sure, usually only a set amount is allowed, let me talk to the funding department and get back to you about it. Fair enough I said, but when will you get back to me? I’m supposed to start on the 7th of september! He was like I dont know, I’ve things to do, I’ll get back to you when I can. Sounded so uninterested and like he wasnt really bothered. But I need to know for my own peace of mind! If I cant get the funding, I cant go to school, simple as that. My whole life, everything I’ve been working towards for the past year, everything I’ve becoming stable for, trying to stay well for, so I could go to school, get my qualification, get a job at the end of it, is coming crashing down around me. Its so frustrating and unsettling and I feel like crap. I even ended up arguing with my mom and dad and making my dad really mad at me. My mom and me talked and mom said that I shouldnt give up hope, that he hasnt said no yet and he might not. I got to thinking, and he has bought jaws, and a new computer to put jaws on, so then I though well, he wont want to waste the equipment now that he’s bought it, because nobody else can use it. So maybe on that basis he’ll say yes and give me the 100 euro. The other thing mom said was that perhaps he’ll say I have to pay half, that would be 75 euro a week I’d have to pay. I have a monthly income, as well as a weekly one, the monthly one is a top up, and if it came to it I could afford 75 a week, if I took some of the money out of the monthly income I have. So it might just work out. I hope it does. I really want to go to school. I want to have a life. I dont want to spend my days sitting around at home doing nothing. I’d much prefer to be out of the house and having something to do every day, something to get up for in the mornings, and something to show at the end of the two years. Please, if you pray, pray that this all works out. If you dont pray, send me good vibes and or thoughts.
Recently I read my dads a policeman. Its by Cathy Glass. Its a short read at only 100 pages. Its Cathy Glass’s first short story.
The story is based on a true story. It centres around Ryan, who is a 12 year old boy. His mom is an alcoholic and because of her drinking Ryan and his little brother Tommy are taken into care. Ryan doesnt want to go into care. When his social worker Duffy talks to him about it, he becomes agitated and very angry and ends up punching her in the face. Ryan is in trouble a lot because of his temper, also, even though he’s never seen his real dad, he wants to believe his dads a policeman, and he tells everyone this, even duffy his social worker. Duffy wants to split him and Tommy up and Ryan wants them to stay together. However that doesnt happen when they’re taken into foster care. So Ryan decides to run away from his foster hom and go home. He also wants to rescue Tommy. He runs away when his foster mom is sleeping. He finds his way home to his moms house, but then his foster mom finds him gone and calls the police. They come to his mothers house and try to get him to go with him, however he again runs away, and this time, they dont catch him. He ends up calling his best friend and spending the night in his house. His best friends dad is abusive and beats up and verbally abuses his kids. After spending the night with his best friend, Ryan tries to rescue Tommy, however Tommy wont go with him, he’s happy with his new foster carers. Ryan hangs around the town all day and then tries to go back to his friends house for a shower and to charge his phone. It is then that he sees the dad beating up his best friend. Eventually Ryan goes back to his moms and his mom talks to him and pleads with him to go back to his foster mom and dad, so she can go into rehab and get better. The book ends with her going into rehab, with Ryan going back to his foster mom and dad, and Tommy ends up coming to live with Ryan and his foster family. Ryans best friend ends up also going into care. At the end of the book Ryan finds out that his foster dad is a policeman, so it turns out that in the end, his dad is a policeman.
Its a great short read. I highly recommend it to everyone.
So recently I have been trying to get more hours for both my PA service and my home help service. Right now, I get four hours of PA service on Saturday mornings, and an hour a day of home help Monday to Friday. I’ve been trying to increase it because I need the extra support. Dr Barry wrote me a letter when I was applying, saying how much extra hours would benefit my mental health and recovery. So last week the co-ordinator of the PA service rang me and she said that right now they dont have any hours available, but they would put my name on a waiting list and if hours came up they’d let me know. Of course I was disappointed but I couldnt really do anything about it. It annoyed me though as I know some people who get tons of hours and all I wanted was a couple extra. Then I had a brain wave. I decided that I’d ask the organisation that funds our therapy and taxi’s and who put in our CCTV if they could fund hours. I know they work with an agency and provide drivers and other home help stuff to clients. I knew it would be no good if I rang my case manager myself so today I rang Karen, who used to be Dr Barrys full time social worker, but now she is the team co-ordinator. When she stopped being the full time social worker she kept a couple of clients on, I was one of the lucky ones who she decided to keep. Anyway, I rang her and she wasnt in the office. I debated whether I’d leave a voice mail, as she shares her office with a couple of other social workers. In the end I left a brief message asking her to call me and just telling her I had something I wanted to run by her but that it wasnt urgent and to ring me when she could. Well, one of Karens brilliant qualities is that she’s super efficient. At 4 Pm she called me back. I was delighted as I hadnt expected her to call until tomorrow at the earliest. I told her what I wanted and we talked and right there and then she drafted an email to my case worker at the organisation whose funding the services. She also said she’d send a copy of dr Barrys letter that she wrote and put in with my original application for hours that I sent into the Irish wheelchair association. I have to say it was a brilliant letter and email because she read it before she sent it. After we hung up a couple minutes later she called again to tell me she’d gotten an out of office response from my case worker and he is out until August 13th. She called me just to let me know that and not to expect any response until after that date, but I was like wow she called me twice in the space of half an hour. No wonder Karen got promoted to a higher level than just a social worker, she’s so good and efficient and just gets things done! Hopefully her great email will pay off and I will with some luck get the hours. I badly need them. It would be nice to be able to go out socially one nevening a week and to get more hours to do extra housework. As it is my current home help isnt really doing her job properly. Today she left my kitchen in a right mess with grease all over my cooker hob which is glass, and a dirty frying pan in the sink, I knew she’d left the pan but I knew nothing about the grease on the cooker. My sister came over and cleaned it for me, of course she had to have a rant too about it, but she’s right, the home help is being lazy and cutting corners and if it keeps happening I’ll have to say something to her about it. My sister was like how can she walk out of your house knowing she’s left it dirty, knowing that your blind and cant see it? It did annoy me I have to admit. So yeah, extra hours would be good!
In this gripping memoir, Cathy tells Harrisons story. Harrison came to cathy as a newborn baby. He’d come to the attention of social services four months earlier, when his birth mother had asked that he be taken into care upon being born, and adopted. Cathy had never fostered a baby so was very apprehensive about it. But Harrison soon settled into her family. Right from the start Rianna, Harrisons mother was co-operating with social services. There was a lot of mystery surrounding Harrisons case. At first Cathy didnt know why he’d been placed in care. Eventually she found out though. At first Rianna spent some weeks loitering outside Cathys house, trying to get a glimpse of Harrison. Cathy was quite worried and discussed this with her support social worker Jill and Sharyl who was Harrisons social worker. When Harrison was a few months old, Rianna came to see Cathy. She then told Cathy why it was that she’d had to give Harrison up. Her family were asian, and she’d been having a relationship with a mixed race man. If her family found out, they’d disapprove, and she felt that her cousins might kill the man, or her. An honour killing. Cathy was very shocked upon hearing this information and she told Rianna she’d have to tell Jill. Before rianna left that night, Cathy offered to let her see Harrison. At first Rianna hesitated but eventually she agreed and she saw him and it was after that first contact, a few weeks later, that Rianna came again to Cathys house, late at night, and shared that she’d told her parents and they were willing to support her. She wanted to take Harrison that night, but Cathy persuaded her to leave him with her and go through her solicitor and social worker. Cathy met Riannas father that night who also wished to take Harrison there and then. Over the following 3 months, contact between rianna and harrison was set up and Rianna saw him twice a week for an hour and a half. Eventually a decision was made that Harrison should live permanently with Rianna. A two week introductory move was planned to introduce Harrison to living with his mother. Eventually after the two weeks were complete Harrison returned to live permanently with his mother and it was very sad for Cathy and her family when they all had to say goodbye. The book is an amazing read and as always Cathy has done an excellent job of telling a gripping, heart warming, sometimes sad, but touching story of Harrisons time with her. Its well worth a read if you like memoirs, stories about people who’ve over come the odds, stories about children in care etc.
I’ve just finished this amazing book. Once again Cathy has written an unforgettable and memorable foster care memoir.
This is Jades story. Jade came to Cathy heavily pregnant. She was 17 and had had an argument with her mom and her mom had thrown her out. She had refused to go to a mother and baby placement because the only one free was out of the area, away from her friends, and the estate where she lived. This story was different, in that, instead of Cathy first learning of Jades situation from the social services, she learned of it through a teacher at Jades school, who was mentoring Jade. The teacher had asked Cathy to foster jade, but Cathy said it wasnt as simple as her just fostering her and encouraged the teacher to call the social services and go through the correct channels in order that Jade could come into care. The very next day after the teacher visited Cathy, Jill Cathys support social worker rang her and asked if she’d foster Jade. This was new to Cathy, who’d never before fostered a teen, and who only usually fostered younger children. But Cathy agreed to take jade for a month, until a suitable mother and baby placement could be found. On the first day when Jade came to Cathy, her boyfriend Tyler came too. Tyler is mature for his age of 16, and is a good influence on jade. During the month leading up to the birth of her baby, Jade had some very challenging behaviours that Cathy had to deal with. She was drinking heavily. Despite Cathy trying to talk to her the drinking continued and more than once she came home drunk. A few weeks into Jades foster care placement she had her baby. However instead of going then to a mother and baby placement Jades social worker Rachel asked Cathy if she’d agree to take both Jade and her new baby, while a parenting assessment of Jade was completed. So cathy agreed. When Jade came home after giving birth to her daughter, the challenging behaviour continued. She was still drinking, and she also started smoking. It culminated in a shop lifting incident and the police becoming involved. It was clear Jade wasnt coping. Cathy was doing a lot for her baby, things that Jade should be doing. It was decided that Jades baby should be taken and placed for adoption. When Jade was told she pleaded and begged her social worker not to take her baby. In the end she was not taken, jade was sent to grasslands, a special unit for teenage moms. There were strict rules there that jade had to adhere to. While she was there she’d be monitored and it would be decided wheither she was able to cope parenting her daughter. Cathy visits jade regularly when she moves to grasslands, but after 3 months, and after making a new friend, jade and her new friend start drinking one night, and her daughter falls and injures herself. Again, jades baby is almost taken but she’s given one final chance to prove herself. This time she does. I wont give away the ending, but I will say it is a happy one.
This book is a truly heart warming read. Once again Cathy puts everything she has into this placement, and although on many occasions she thinks she’s failed jade and isnt helping her in any way, the ending shows that the placement really did benefit jade in the long run. I highly recommend the book. It is a truly fabulous read.