I have been a Foster Carer for four years for Nexus.
I had wanted to help children for years, as I was school teacher and experienced seeing children who needed so much more than school to escape the situation they were in.
I never believed that I would be able to foster as my husband worked away in another country for most of the year. I knew very little about the fostering world and the difference between local authorities and private companies like Nexus. This led me to do some considerable research on how they both worked. Nexus had an outstanding Ofsted and were extremely close to me, so I phoned to enquire. I spoke to a friendly helpful member of staff who completely put me at ease and said someone would phone me back the next day. From then on we have never looked back.
The whole process took about 5 to 6 months and we learnt so much about ourselves such as the way we had cared for our children and the way our parents had cared for us. Nexus are amazing and the support through the whole process was fantastic. Shortly after fostering Panel, we were asked to do some respite care for another Foster Carer and their three children. It did not worry me, as I have always had a large family at home. I loved it and it gave me more confidence to have my own placement. It was a daunting experience reading all the referrals that come in but once again Nexus guided us through to make the acceptance on the right children.
Our first placement was with two younger children, a little 7 month old girl and 2 year old boy. The placement lasted for 26 weeks to go onto adoption. Nexus was there with me all the way. The process was organised and thought about so carefully and this meant that the best outcome came for the children. We are blessed enough to be still be able to take part in the children’s lives and they have become family to us. This would not have been such a smooth transition if it had not been for the guidance of my Supervising Social Worker and Nexus.
I had a very short break to take time to reflect and be ready to look at referrals again. Once again it was making sure we were matched suitably with the children we would care for. This time the children we would foster were spilt between us and another Foster Carer who worked for the local authority, so it was completely different. We knew very quickly that we would like to offer the children a permanent placement if that was to be decided by the courts. We put ourselves forward to have all three children. We were matched and went to panel to keep all three children together.
We have not looked back and with Nexus’s support we have managed to secure what the children need and advocate for them in many different situations. It is an amazing experience to see the growth in the children within our care and it’s really fulfilling. To see such broken and closed down children become happy, safe and loved children is truly a huge pleasure. Every smile and milestone reached gives us huge satisfaction. My journey with Nexus has been amazing and I could not have done this without them.