What is it like to Foster?
Deb and Chris’ story
"We are in our fifth year of caring, all of which have been the most wonderfully, exciting experiences of our lives! We do not class it as a job, but as a life changing vocational decision. When asked about being foster carers, we simply declare that ‘we love it!
We find that every day is different and we always learn something new about ourselves as well as the children we care for. We are so proud of their achievements; however small and when we see a child grow in confidence enabling them to flourish it makes us smile every time. Our most important role is to support and nurture every child for them to learn new skills, to gain independence to achieve their aspirations and fulfil their own potential.
Ongoing training and professional development is vital if foster caring is to be given the status it deserves. We are able to access learning and development opportunities throughout our fostering career to ensure we have up to date skills and knowledge needed which will allow us to develop our practice in order that we can continue to help transform the lives of the children we foster.
We would recommend fostering to anyone who has the ability and interest to understand the importance of being non judgmental, providing a stable nurturing home. To see a difference in a child from when they enter your care, to when they leave is amazing, to know that you have helped them through a really challenging time in their lives is priceless and so rewarding."
"6.30am alarms rings, time to get my eldest up for school, luckily all my children have been brought up with constant routine and he gets up with no trouble, I make the baby a feed and feed her before waking the rest of the tribe.
7am, breakfasts out and it's time for my other two to rise, 7.40am, as I wave my eldest off its time to wake the last two little ones and pack baby's bag up for a 9.30am contact.
Yes, that's 6 children altogether, not all mine. I'm a busy foster carer for Merthyr and I've been caring for 7 years. I have 3 children of my own aged 12, 10 and 6 and I can care for up to 3 others aged 0-5.
I'm very lucky, my job is awesome, and I love every minute of it. The children I've had over the years have been excellently matched to my family and have all fitted in really well.
My average day begins with the above. I start with an excellent routine and then wait for the unexpected...maybe a call from school to say emotions are high today, a contact appointment, or a visit from a social worker with some new news, anything can happen. That's what I love about this job, the challenges and lack of boredom, not to mention the exciting outcomes of each individual case that could change the once unhappy life of a little one.
After cleaning and catching up on some nursery rhymes with the baby it's usually time to prep tea (guaranteed one child will not like it) but that's what the bribery of ice cream is for! Fostering children is no different to raising your own, granted there is history, but don't we all have a past?... Not everything runs smooth all of the time but I've found the support of my link workers are second to none.
4.30pm and it's a quick trip to ASDA as one of the schools has just decided that it's dress up day tomorrow...So I've got two sat in front of the trolley, one in the actual trolley refusing to walk, one holding onto the trolley and another two "just looking" at the toy aisle.... Then it's time to pay....Guaranteed the lady at the till will count the children in my care and pass comment..."Oh my... 6!..."
To all who think like this, trust me, when the time is right and you're able to see what positive changes you've made in a little ones life you'll be proud to move them on."
You only need to talk to Deb, Chris, and Sam to appreciate the satisfaction they take away from helping children in their care.
Their experience illustrates that ordinary people with a determination, inner resilience and loving heart can be foster carers.
New children are coming into the care system all the time. If you feel you could be a foster carer, like Deb,Chris and Sam please get in touch and talk it over.