Welcome back to another post on the AFA Fostering blog!

Today, we continue our story with Katrina, an experienced foster parent who has been fostering with us for 13 years. As we delve deeper into her journey, Katrina shares some insightful reflections on what she’s learned about herself through fostering.

Uncovering the Challenges and Rewards of Fostering

“Fostering taught me so much about parenting,” Katrina shares, “and it’s very different from raising your own children.” Borne out of her own positive experience with adoption and being raised by an older couple, whom she fondly calls mum and dad, Katrina’s passion for providing a nurturing environment for children was fuelled.

The journey, however, wasn’t always smooth. She recalls her first experience fostering a teenager as a ‘baptism by fire.’ Katrina found that the mental health issues she faced were new terrain and required a different kind of understanding and patience.

Learning to Support, Not Impose: The Growth Process

“I would try to help too much when she just needed space. I just wanted her to be happy. But it’s a process. At the beginning, I didn’t really appreciate that process. I’ve learned that you’ve got to let them do it in their own time and just to be there to support them,” Katrina revealed. This child is now the one she and Sandy have adopted.

Katrina credits her parents for helping her understand this process better. She learnt to provide support when needed, without imposing or rushing the healing process. “I’ve learned to stand back a little bit and just be there when they need me rather than trying to force myself and my help on them.”

The Impact of AFA Fostering’s Support and Training

The invaluable training courses provided by AFA Fostering also played a significant role in shaping Katrina’s fostering experience. She reflects, “Sometimes in the training courses it’ll make me feel a bit teary because I think, oh I’ve seen myself doing that. And then I remember that from my own childhood. I’ve learned a lot in the training courses. AFA’s training courses have been essential for the fostering. Especially when I had the teenager, they were my lifeline.”

One thing that stands out in her experience with AFA is the personalised support provided. Katrina appreciates the effort AFA put into understanding her needs and providing relevant courses, which she found crucial during the transition to online learning due to the pandemic. The supportive and empathetic environment provided by AFA Fostering became her anchor during tough times.

Katrina’s journey with fostering is an incredible testimony to the power of patience, learning, and unconditional love. It’s a reminder that fostering is a rewarding but complex journey, but with the right support and understanding, it can be one of the most fulfilling experiences.

Stay tuned for the next inspiring story of Katrina’s fostering journey with AFA Fostering, coming this Friday!

Did this story resonate with you? Imagine the fulfilling journey you could embark on by transforming the life of a child or young person. If you live in East Anglia or the East Midlands, and can offer a spare bedroom for fostering in a caring, secure home, you already have some of the groundwork for becoming a foster parent.

With us, you’ll never be alone on this journey. We provide comprehensive training and 24/7 support to our foster parents to ensure you are fully equipped to provide the best care. Alongside the emotional rewards, a competitive allowance is also in place to help you in providing for your foster child.

Curious to learn more? Begin your fostering journey today. Simply reach out to our warm and welcoming team at 0333 358 3217 or fill out our online form. Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated and be part of inspiring conversations. So, give us a ring today and start the process that could change both your life and a child’s, for the better.