Abandoned by social services

Eleven-year-old Luke (not his real name), who is from London, has
been in foster care in Essex for four years.

His foster carer Belinda (not her real name) says: “None of the
social workers have offered us much support. We had one who kept
letting him down. She would say she was turning up but then she
didn’t come. For nine months he didn’t have a social worker at

There was another one who arrived one day and spent a couple of
hours filling out forms with Luke that were meant to be completed
over a year and then said to him ‘right, well you won’t be seeing
me anymore’. I asked her what the point was of her coming and
meeting him if she wasn’t going to come again and she said ‘it’s my

He’s got no time for social workers. He has liked a couple but
we’ve had a few who just don’t turn up. I know they’re busy and I
don’t care for myself but it’s not fair on Luke. Once we had
someone who was going to come, and I rang when she hadn’t turned
up. I said, you’re supposed to be here, and she said ‘oh am I?
Sorry, I forgot to write it in my diary’.”

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