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Published on: 2018-10-18 11:23:00
What do you find most rewarding/ fondest memory about fostering?
For me, the most rewarding thing about fostering has been seeing my foster child G thrive and, through the eyes of those who know her, becoming happier and more resilient.
This is despite the continued heartache and confusion that must accompany being wrenched from the birth family that she remains so strongly attached to and loves, and the trauma of moving from one carer to another.
Beneath her exuberant surface she may feel many darker emotions, but I believe that stability and a caring home-life has enabled her to develop more fully as a person.
She is very companionable, especially as I am a single carer, and fills the home with purpose and affection. I'm pleased that her teachers say she is 'blossoming' since joining my family.
My own daughter also has great affection for G, which is a pleasure to see, especially as my daughter was an only child. My wider family, including my parents, have loved having G to visit and she has injected youth and vitality into our gatherings.
I've worked hard, together with G's school, to increase her grades, while she's become more socially confident.
I feel that attachment is a moot point when fostering; as Foster Carers are aware that one day the child looked after will move on or return home, but the knowledge that you've offered the child some stability, a loving home and perhaps increased life-chances while they've been with you - experiences that they'll take with them - can be comforting during their transition.
What is the main message you would like to get across to someone who so learning about fostering for the first time?
Fostering is a great commitment that involves hard work and many frustrations, without an expectation of gratitude or reciprocated affection.
It demands strong teamwork and constant compromise. Nonetheless, it can be highly rewarding, offering the chance to help children and young people at a time of trauma, dislocation, and confusion by giving them stability, safety, and security in a loving home.
Wherever a child ends up, what you have given them will stay with them and may even better their life chances. Developing strong, specialised skills to meet the needs of these children, through training and experience, is a vital part of fostering, so I would strongly recommend joining an agency like Nexus, that offers good training and consistent support.
Do you have any particular successes in fostering that you would like to share with us?
G, despite her disability, is slowly learning to gain independence and, along with huge support from her school, I've helped her to develop life-skills and to achieve better subject grades and this, in turn, has increased her overall confidence.
One recent success has been to send her shopping for an hour with a friend, following clear instructions, without mishaps!
Foster children and young people can develop a great loss of confidence, morale, and control over their lives. I feel that helping them to regain a sense of self-confidence and empowerment is a vital part of the Foster Carer's role. I've endeavoured to instil a positive, 'can do' attitude in my foster child, working on her strengths and encouraging innate positive traits and skills. Consequently, despite having special educational needs, my foster child has gained significant achievements, whilst maintaining her enthusiasm for school and social activities.
G's exuberance has helped her to enjoy extra-curricular activities such as Guides, Judo, guitar, The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, and drama.
She previously suffered from self-proclaimed 'stage fright' but now she's excited to have a speaking role in her school production, which my daughter, brother-in-law and I are greatly looking forward to seeing.
Are you a potential foster carer looking to work with an officially outstanding agency with passionate, supportive staff? Get in touch by phone, or by filling out our enquiry form and we will call you back!