In the 3 years we have been fostering we have had 3 longer term placements and 2 children stay for a short break whilst their carers were on holiday. The youngest young person being a 5 week old baby and the eldest being 6 years of age. Our own youngest child is now 12 – so having a baby in the household was a real shock to the system!
It’s extremely hard work being a Carer. But if you found it easy, you wouldn’t be doing it properly. Be prepared for anything. Listen more than you speak and remember there is always help available.
We chose AFA Fostering agency as a friend was with them before they retired. We can tell you right now we wouldn’t go anywhere else. They are brilliant. The support we get is amazing. The training is excellent online as well as in house. They do fun days for all the family. Our own children are included in so much too.
We definitely find the hardest part of fostering is finding out what the children have witnessed and experienced and the hurt, harm and trauma this can often leave them with. Speaking frankly, needing to work alongside some individuals whom are being questioned in terms of the responsibility for said hurt (on some occasions) can be a real test. But we do it and we do it professionally because it’s incredibly important to demonstrate positive working relationships with adults whom those children feel are the most important to them.
The best part is seeing the children laughing for the first time with you. Nothing beats this.
If you have a big heart and an open mind then you too can become a Foster Carer. We wouldn’t do anything else.