What is Fostering?
What is Fostering?
When I first got involved in fostering / being foster carer, I took on short-term placements, where a baby or a child would need a bed for the night in an emergency. As my confidence grew in fostering, I opted for longer-term, planned placements. I would usually meet the young person before they come to live with me. I have fostered very young babies and toddlers as well as challenging teenagers with complex needs. Working with an independent fostering agency such as Lorimer Foster Services means that I have always been able to select the age-range of the young people I foster, so that they fit in with my family situation. As a foster carer in Tameside, the children I look after might come from anywhere in the country. (Fostering Tameside Series)
I receive lots of practical, professional and financial support to enable me to be an effective foster carer. I attend regular free training courses to further develop my skills and understanding in dealing with looked after children. I know that there is someone available to help me at LFS 24 hours a day if I need advice about how best to care for the child placed with me. I know that I’m supported by fellow professionals who can answer my most trivial queries, but who also understand the responsibility of caring for another person’s child.
Being a foster carer is not just being a parent: there are meetings to attend, contact visits to facilitate and daily paperwork to complete. I have to be fully aware of how life is going for the young person living with me, including at school, and deal with issues that arise productively. I can’t promise to be able to sort out every problem that comes along, but for the child, just knowing that there is always someone there for them, willing to listen and be there when needed, is sometimes all that’s required.
Fostering children and especially Fostering teenagers can be tough, but the thrill I get from helping them develop and blossom into happy and stable young adults makes it all the worthwhile. I relish the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people who have had a difficult start in life. Enabling these children to turn their lives around with a little care and support makes my job as a foster carer most rewarding. Working together as part of a team, creating the best possible chances for a child in the future as they embark on life on their own… What job could be better?
Fostering Manchester Series
This is one of number of planned articles in the Fostering Manchester series. In this series we’ll attempt to answer some of the questions people from our Manchester Foster Carer Forums have posed and pondered or stories they have told when considering a career in foster care. We hope to also run similar series based on Fostering Liverpool, Fostering Lancashire and Fostering Chester in due course.