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Someone else’s child

Published on: 2017-03-22 09:00:00

 

My childhood

“ I felt I wasn’t particularly loved and well looked after as a child and the sibling rivalry between us children caused my parents to argue a lot so Paul and I decided to have just one child, our daughter, Sophia, and make sure she had everything I missed out on. Paul had a secure childhood and we were able to balance our parenting styles so she grew up to be a well-balanced individual.”

Foster carer assessment

“Once Sophia was at secondary school and old enough to understand what fostering was all about, we got in touch with Nexus Fostering. A lovely lady, Libby, arrived at our home to chat with us and we were sold! All we had to do was go through the assessment process and our dream would become reality! That was over 7 years ago!”

“Libby advised us we might find the assessment intrusive, but it was fine, after all, we wouldn’t want our daughter to be looked after by anyone who hadn’t been rigorously tested.  All I would say to anyone going through the process, is be 100% truthful because it’s pointless otherwise. It’s not about the mistakes you’ve made in life, it’s about how you’ve dealt with them. Were you resilient enough?”

Training and other foster carers

“During the process, we attended Nexus Fostering’s ‘Skills to Foster’ training, partly to see if it was for us and vice versa. We met other people going through the process, many of whom are still with Nexus. The training was a very eye opening experience and we had to keep an open mind. Fostering isn’t just looking after someone else’s child; it’s so much more than that and you have to be willing to take all types of behaviour.”

Support network

“We love fostering. Seeing the changes you bring to a child’s life, seeing them experience things they’ve never done and seeing yourself in the things they do and say to you and others. The rewards are immense. Having said that, fostering is not an ‘easy ride’. You really need the support of your supervising social worker, a good support network of family and friends and resilience. You shouldn’t dwell on the things you’ve not done so well, you should learn from them.”

Letting go

“Fostering has taught us things about ourselves, showing us things we never knew we were capable of. I’m hugely emotional, so was concerned about ‘letting go’ when it was time for our foster children to move on, but knowing they were going to a loving ‘forever’ family gives you confidence all will be well and I was pleasantly surprised at how resilient I was.”

Sophia

“As for Sophia, well, having other children in her life has been good for her. Because our foster children aren’t actually our own, the relationship they have with her is kind of separate; they’re not siblings but they are a big part of her life. And ours.” 

The Rewards

“The most rewarding thing is being able to keep in touch with the children after they leave you and hearing they still talk of you. In addition, seeing the children you nurture succeed and turn into confident young people.” 

Join us  

“I hope you’re thinking of becoming a foster carer because it’s just the best thing, ever!  Get in touch with Nexus Fostering for an informal chat and you won’t look back! Best wishes to you all, Cheryl x”

 

Nexus Fostering

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