In the latest episode of our series, we further explore the journey of Katrina, a seasoned foster parent, and the deep connections she creates with the children in her care. Even when they’re no longer under her roof, these children remain an integral part of her life.
When asked whether maintaining these connections is an expectation for foster parents, Katrina explains, “No, I don’t think it is. Yeah, no, it’s just something… I think a lot of foster parents do it, but I do think they become like family, they become like grandchildren.”
Building Connections: More than a Foster Parent
Katrina has a unique way of framing her role to the children in her care – she positions herself and Sandy as grandparents, which reduces potential conflict with the children’s birth parents. This strategy has helped her maintain relationships with the children after they’ve returned home. In her words, “they see us as they’re staying at grandparents’ house. That’s how they see us, I think. So, when they’ve returned home, they can maintain that relationship with us, because we’re not an alternative mum and dad.”
Navigating Challenges: Chantelle’s Turning Point
One such relationship is with Chantelle, a foster child who spent five challenging years in Katrina’s home. Chantelle struggled with her emotions and often acted out, spoiling family events and holidays. One day, she unexpectedly opened up to Katrina, confessing her confusion and expressing gratitude.
Katrina recalls, “Chantelle came into my bedroom, I was making the bed, and she sat on the floor, and she said, ‘I really don’t know why I do it, but what I do know is you’ve saved me and I hope you’ll continue to save me.’ And she said, ‘This is all I’ve ever known. I’ve only ever known my previous life experiences. I don’t understand why they want to be nice to me.'”
A Rewarding Role: The Impact of Foster Care
This honest confession was a turning point for both of them. It represented a huge breakthrough for Chantelle, who was beginning to understand her feelings and actions. For Katrina, it was a testament to her tireless efforts and an affirmation that her work as a foster parent was making a profound difference.
Stay tuned for the next inspiring story of Katrina’s fostering journey with AFA Fostering, coming on 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.