Dion is a ten year old boy living in a long term foster placement.  A referral was made to Sova seeking advocacy support in order to obtain Dion’s wishes and feelings regarding receiving birthday cards and gifts from his birth family & contact with his birth mother. The birth mother had been putting pressure on the social worker to arrange contact with the child.  The social worker needed an independent advocate to speak with Dion to ascertain his true wishes to then share them with the birth mother.

A Sova advocate met with Dion at his home address and explained the advocacy role to him, reassuring Dion that he could speak in confidence and nothing would be shared to others without his knowledge.

The advocate explained that Dion’s social worker wanted to know his feelings about his family and how he wanted things to be in the future.  Dion explained to the advocate that he wanted nothing to do with his mother.  He said that during contact his mother had told him that she hadn’t done anything wrong and that she loved him.

The advocate gave Dion the time and space to explain his feelings, the advocate asked appropriate questions to encourage him to open up.  Dion was keen to share pictures of his birth family and talked about their different relationships.  He then said that he didn’t want to hurt his mother’s feelings but that “she did do something wrong that’s why I’m here” and therefore he didn’t want to see her or hear from her, he said it made him remember “the bad stuff”. 

The advocate was careful to agree with Dion exactly what he wanted to happen.  He said that he wanted to continue to see his brothers and grandparents and to receive birthday cards from them but he wanted no contact what so ever with his mother.  The advocate agreed to share this with his social worker, and reminded him that he could change his mind at any time – and also reminded him of his ongoing right to independent support.