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The long awaited panel day arrived and we were as prepared as we could be. Not 100% sure what the format or style would be but we knew it was an eight person board plus three social services and two scribes.
Arrived on time and duly shown into the Board Room and formal introductions done. There followed a rundown of the agenda.
It became apparent within moments of the chairlady starting to give a precise of the good points of the report that the wrong report was being referred to. Been here before – there are still errors on all the other documents that have been produced!
I did make a comment to this effect when I had the opportunity and could hear the constant typing of the note taker, so assume my comments were recorded.
On that note all the errors must be corrected as they will only reflect the wrong facts of the case in the future which are automatically considered to be true when read in later years.
The questions asked were cross checking our attitudes to what had happened, what preparation we were doing and how we would deal with things in the future. It was traumatic for my better half.
Questions flowed from people around the table and where necessary we expanded the answers so a wider understanding was available. My partner needed a tissue when emotions got the better of here.
The pleasant aspect of the meeting was we knew we know our fate quite quickly. We left the room and waited.
The waiting room is the staff restroom so not private. My partner released her tears quietly but uncontrollably. I could only offer comfort by holding her hands. The chap who had been responsible for the creation of the report came in with a smile. Hmm! He has always been straight with us so I read good into it.
My partner entered first and the chairlady started to talk nearly straightaway. All I heard was … pleased … unanimously … and saw smiles throughout the room. The release of tension was immediate. It was explained that this is a difficult stage to get through. We both had a hard time holding back our emotions, neither of us sat down, we needed to be together to take it in.
We had passed the Fostering Board.