Meet Our Carers
Our Foster Carers
We couldn’t provide the care we do to the young people we place without the support of our Foster Carers. They come from all walks of life, have a wide range of experiences and differing interests, and below you will find personal stories of their journeys into foster care.
This section of the website is still under construction and although not all our carers will write about their journeys here, we do have a lot more to post yet!
I have been fostering for a year now as a single carer. I have had teenage girls stay on short-term basis and am currently caring for an 11 year old boy. I find being open and honest helps to make them feel safe and settled. It is great if they share my passions of art, music and nature but if they don’t, then I can quickly learn the rules of Rugby or the latest fashion accessory or how to play computer games. What is important is that we share positive experiences whilst getting to know each other and build a healthy and trusting relationship.
I was previously working as a Teaching Assistant with children with Special Educational Needs. It brought me into contact with some of the most vulnerable young people in my community and I knew I had to do more to help them.
Fostering is challenging, especially on my own, but it is also extremely rewarding seeing the young people develop and grow.
The Fostering Foundation is like a big family and everyone is there to support and advise me. I have met some fantastic Supervising Social Workers as well as some interesting and experienced new friends in my fellow carers.
Dagmar and Graeme
We have been fostering teenagers since 2009 and what a ride it’s been! We gained nerves of steel, insights in different lives and souls and a circle of young friends who once lived with us and still come for advice and chicken soup and mow our grass in return. We had one long term and several short term and respite placements and for us it was always important to listen to each child in order to understand and guide them.
The same applies to us, too. We want an agency that listens to us and doesn’t treat us as a number or put us into a box. Our supervising social worker is not just doing a job, she cares for the children as much as we do and she is always there when we need her. That’s why we followed her from another agency to The Fostering Foundation 6.5 years ago.
Fostering young people as a professional carer is not an option that most ex-service personnel will consider, especially when the prospect of returning to civilian life and all the daunting anxieties, concerns and adjustments of your transition to civilian life tend to over-shadow the immediate future.
However as an ex-service person myself I was amazed at the number of similarities there exist between young people caught up in the traumatic world of Local Authority care and that of the life of a service person. For instance, when we all first sign up, we are transported from the safe, secure world of our families to be adopted by our first troop Sargent who lines you up, and declares those immortal words ‘I’m your mother now sonny!’ . Your worldly possessions are confined to a suitcase and kitbag, your life is controlled by others who determine where you live, what you eat and every aspect of your personal freedom. And so it is for hundreds of young people, who, every year through no fault of their own, find themselves taken away from their loved ones. Their worldly possessions are bundled into an old suitcase or even an a plain black plastic bin bag and they are taken away by Police officers and social workers to live in unknown accommodation and forced to live with strangers.
Many of these young people, who can range from 5 weeks to 18 years are often traumatised either from abuse or neglect, they are often disorientated, dis-empowered and often very afraid and wary of adults. Many of us ex-service personnel can, most probably, even identify with some of this too!
Fortunately, with the right support, right training and careful matching by the Local Authorities and in my situation the Fostering Foundation, many of these children can be helped to adjust to normal healthy happy lives by the Commitment, care and support of professional carers.
As a professional carer you will given all the necessary training, preparation and support by the The Fostering Foundation and even when dealing with the most challenging and demanding of young people, the Fostering Foundation is there right behind you all the way. They offer Professional Supervising Social workers for one to one personal support, a network of support from other carers and an extensive range of professional training to help you understand and support the young people in your care. The Fostering Foundation will also put in place ‘Safer Caring’ guidelines, ‘Health and Safety ‘ guidelines etc. and through monitoring your written daily reports, always be ready with strategic and practical support to keep you and the child or children in your care safe and happy.
The rewards of being a professional carer are tremendous and the financial allowances are very generous to allow carers if they wish, to care for young people as a full time profession. This allows carers to give 100% of their time to support the young people in their care within their own homes. A luxury many young people today do not get themselves as their parents are busy both working full-time to pay mortgages, service bills and everyday living costs. Carers will be expected to give Foster carer input into Education plans, Child in Care reviews, legal hearings and many other meetings that surround the young people in Care with Local Authorities. Carers have to liaise and advocate with Social Workers, Reviewing Officers, Teachers, Legal Guardians and many other professionals, all in place to protect the young person in care
My wife and I have been caring for young people for over ten years, our training and expertise in dealing with young people is very extensive yet every day we learn something new and find ourselves enjoying the progress and happiness of the young person in our care. It is a big responsibility and without doubt there has been times when we have made poor decisions or faced immensely challenging behaviour to deal with, but on reflection the rewards easily out way the negatives.
We all know that today, there are far too many young people in the care system, young people who need good professional support and unfortunately there are nowhere near enough professional carers to deal with that demand.