Why I Became A Supervising Social Worker: This is Fostering
There are so many different members of the fostering community, each playing just as important role as the next. Throughout Foster Care Fortnight, we’re sharing stories with you from all different perspectives. From our Foster Carers, their birth children, the young people living with them, and and our staff here at Lorimer. Every foster care journey is different and all fostering families are unique in their own way. Each person that works in foster care will have their own version of ‘This is Fostering’. Today we’re focusing on #TeamLorimer member Louise, and her journey to becoming a Supervising Social Worker.
Below, Louise tells us what led her to the role, and what it’s like to work so closely with our Foster Carers and young people!
Why I Became A Supervising Social Worker
“When the majority of students start on their degree course to become a qualified social worker, it is with thoughts of being on the ‘front line’ of protection. And so it was for me. However, all that changed when I was placed in an independent fostering agency for my final year placement. I had never considered working in this specialism before, and suddenly I was seeing social work from a whole new perspective!
You see, not many people realise that Foster Carers have social workers too, who play a hugely important role in their lives. I observed as my practice educator (a Supervising Social Worker herself) laughed, encouraged and taught the Foster Carers on her caseload and I was inspired to be a part of families lives in the same way.
Working with Foster Families
When children come into foster care, the aim is to provide them with safety, stability and a base from which to make sense of their early experiences. My job is to help our amazing foster carers support the children; I love that I can be a part of this positive and rewarding time for so many children and families. I see the families (and sometimes the children and young people) much more often than many other social workers and build relationships based on mutual respect and a desire to improve outcomes.
Of course there are bumps in the road; there is no blueprint for fostering and every child, every fostering family, is different. Finding the right way of working with each of them is crucial and there are times when this needs some patience and a lot of creativity. But for me, this makes being a part of the journey for fostering families and the children they care for all the more rewarding. I am so privileged to be able to share all the good times, the successes, the fantastic outcomes; I also guide and support through the tough times, and that feels pretty good too!
This is Fostering
If someone had said to me 5 years ago when I embarked on my social work journey that fostering would be my path, I wouldn’t have been so sure. But now, having seen the incredible work that foster carers do, the indescribable resilience of the children in their care and the dedication of the team I work with I know that this is the right way for me. This is Supervising Social Work, and this is fostering.”