‘Looking for Da’ with Angels who guide.

Our Foster children often used the webchat on our agency website to get help when needed; this is how one child found me. She was 14; she was a foster child and was lost while looking for ‘Da’.She needed an ‘Angel to guide’ her; I made it my mission to be the angel she needed.

My screen ‘pinged’ with a new chat. The message read…”Can you help me look for Da?’

I knew instinctively that this was a child because of the question’s simplicity. I also guessed the child came from another area as she referred to him as ‘Da’? Also, I needed to know if she was safe and where she was to help her?

When I asked her, she said, ‘You’re not listening to me; no one ever does; I am asking if you could help me looking for Da?’ I replied, ‘I am listening, and I want to help you; however, I need to know that you are okay. When did you last see your Da?

Time stood still, and I waited for her reply…

Time stood still as I waited for her to reply to me. My heart was pounding; had I scared her by mentioning her Da? After what seemed like an eternity, she replied, ‘I’m OK. I’m at McDonald’s cos my phone works there, and I last saw my Da in the Church’. (Thank God for McDonald’s free WiFi)!

She told me her name and where she lived, and our system showed that we didn’t have her details on file; she wasn’t one of our children. I had to find out more about her, so I asked if she had a friend or a teacher I could call?

She replied, ‘Do you not want to help me?’ ‘Yes, is there anybody you think might be out looking for you that I can call?‘ I asked back. Immediately, she replied, ‘yes, my best friend ever will be looking for me, my best friend is Emma.’

Her best friend ‘ever;’ was Emma, her Social worker. I stupidly asked her why she hadn’t called Emma herself? Her reply made me smile, ‘Because I’m on the phone talking to you!’ I suggested to her that I call Emma and get Emma to call her? She gave me Emma’s number quickly because Emma’s phone number was in her head!

The Angel from McDonald’s with the star on her shirt.

The lovely lady in McDonald’s who had a ‘star on her blouse’ had given her a drink. She told her that she was the boss and would sit with her while talking to me; ‘she was ‘keeping an eye on her’.

Emma’s phone went straight to voicemail, I left a message, and told the child a white lie. I said that Emma had no signal and I would keep on trying. However, in the meantime, could she tell me what school she went to? Would the lady in McDonald’s tell her which shop they were in? She came straight back with the postcode for the Mcdonald’s store. Brilliant.

I called Social Services for that area and explained the purpose of my call. I shared with them that Emma was the child’s most trusted friend; did they have an Emma on that number? Was Emma a Social worker? I was getting worried; perhaps I should have called the police?

She saw the Church and went to Look for Da.

The child was one of the foster children with the Local Authority and went missing as she went ‘Looking for Da’ as she was on a school trip that morning. Everyone was out looking for her, including Emma, her Social worker.

They told me they had been calling the child’s phone themselves, but she wasn’t picking up. I told them that she’s not very good at multitasking and explained my reasons. Thankfully, their office was only 5 minutes away from the McDonalds where she was in the town centre. Emma had gone straight out to get her and called her while running. The call ended; she had gone. And I felt anxious.

The time from the web chat being received to tracking Emma was 20 minutes; meanwhile, the lady from McDonald’s was chatting with the child and ‘keeping an eye on her’.

Webchat is a way a child can reach out for help…

Webchat is a way for people to chat with us about foster care and maybe get more information. Recruitment staff are usually not Social workers, and we have no real training in dealing with these calls effectively. We mainly were admin staff in the department I worked in. However, we care deeply about the children with our Foster carers. Subsequently, this is why we do the job that we do.

The day went the same as all the other days, and I tried to concentrate on my job. It wasn’t easy. I shared my thanks to all of my colleagues for their support of me. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is paramount in all that we do. I had a message to call Emma, and she told me a bit about the child and her journey…

Emma told me that the child had been out on a school trip on the high street with her teacher. They had gone past the church, and shortly after that, the teacher had noticed she was missing. Sadly, the child’s father had recently passed away; he was the child’s sole carer and her younger sister.

Finding a Foster carer with skills to support both children was a challenge…

The child was now 14, and she had a functioning age of 11; she also had developmental delays and learning difficulties. The child had taken on the role of carer for both her Da and her sister. The challenge would be to keep them together, and finding foster carers with the skills to care for their individual needs would be a problem.

She also told me that a possible family member had come forward and spoke with them. Hopefully, this could mean that the girls could stay within their own families if they were suitable. I hoped so. If there was ever a child who needed an Angel caring for her, it was her!

Angels who guide, keeping an eye open for children everywhere…

Behind the scenes, there is an army of Angels who guide and support children. We listen and hear what they say and, more importantly, what they are not saying. We recognise through behaviour their feelings through our innate empathy, which comes naturally to us.

The woman working at McDonald’s was one of these Angels who guided. She had seen a child on her own at 11.00 am in her school uniform and ‘sensed’ that she needed help. She had kept her ‘eyes open for her’, and above all, she made sure she felt safe.

Sadly, words can cause children to fear, feel threatened, and cause pain. Angels who guide see this and help vulnerable children recover from this abuse with kindness and love. Many Angels guide out there, quietly observing and keeping their eyes open and often provide a soft ear to listen without judgment.

We are giving calmness and love to heal the pain.

These Angels offer a comfortable silence of warmth and love; they are a calm presence of peace and love. They have natural empathy and an innate understanding of how children view the world. The Angels who guide are men and women who never stop caring; they always keep their eyes out to help a child in need.’ As a result, they repair the pain and recreate trust in children to help them heal.

Angels who guide come in many shapes and sizes; they are often disguised as family, strangers, neighbours and friends. Also, they are often found in the strangest places, keeping their eyes open, usually when you least expect them.

Foster carers are Angels; they understand and empathise to support vulnerable children by giving them a safe and loving home. We need exceptional foster carers; we need Angels who have the skills, experience and dedication to repair the hurt that many vulnerable children in care have suffered; more importantly, to be the ones to make a difference in a child’s life.

If you would like more information about becoming a foster carer and the Not for Profit charities we work with, please get in touch with us on the form below, and we will contact you back. Together, we can all keep an eye on vulnerable children and keep them safe. Can you foster?

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Can you foster?The most in-demand types of foster care are Sibling foster carers & Mother & Baby foster carers to keep families together. Most importantly, we need foster carers to support older children and teenagers, and with your help, create better futures.