Welcome back to our AFA Fostering blog series featuring Katrina, an experienced and dedicated foster parent of 13 years. In our previous posts, we’ve explored Katrina’s journey into fostering and the lessons she’s learned along the way. Today, we’re diving deeper into how AFA’s training courses have helped her navigate the challenges that come with fostering.

Katrina’s Experience: The Impact of Training Courses

When asked whether the training programs prepared her for the realities of fostering, Katrina replied, “Oh yes, definitely.” However, she also candidly shared her experience of learning on the job and how sometimes she wished she had known certain things earlier. “I do a course now and I think, ‘I wish I’d known about that, back then,'” Katrina explained. “But then that’s there then for the future. I learned the hard way with Chantelle.”

Fostering Chantelle was a particular challenge. Katrina had entered the journey confident in her parenting skills. However, Chantelle had spent 13 years in an abusive situation, and her needs and responses were different. The standard parenting playbook just simply didn’t apply.

Overcoming Challenges: Katrina’s Learning Curve with Chantelle

A recent course on ‘brain training’ opened Katrina’s eyes to new insights. She shared a significant revelation about understanding children’s behaviour, “When children say, ‘I don’t know why I did that,’ they actually don’t know.” Back when Chantelle was showing problematic behaviour, Katrina used to think Chantelle knew why she was acting that way. The course enlightened her, “She just didn’t. And it was in this course that I was like, ‘Oh my God, she really didn’t know.'”

While Chantelle is 24 now and still undergoing therapy and counselling, Katrina found the insights from the course helpful. “Even though it was like 13 years down the line, it’s still helping me to help the same child,” she reflected.

The Ongoing Journey: Lifelong Learning in Foster Parenting

The training courses provided by AFA Fostering have been an essential resource for Katrina, especially the ones focusing on mental health. They have equipped her with knowledge and tools, not only to be a better foster parent but also to continue supporting her adopted daughter.

Katrina’s story is a testimony to the life-long learning journey that is foster parenting. It also emphasises the crucial role that comprehensive and ongoing training can play in equipping foster parents with the skills and knowledge they need to navigate the complexities of fostering.

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

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.