I have been a registered foster carer with Nexus for 7 years now.
I chose to foster with them because they are always on the other end of the phone 24/7. They know all the children like they are their own, arrange lovely days out for the children and birth children. They acknowledge birth and foster children’s birthdays and they receive a gift.
Before fostering I worked several jobs. Removals for houses and offices, a mini cab driver, a school bus driver for children with disabilities, in a hairdresser’s, and a shoe shop. I met so many different characters and it taught me how to read people, which helps with fostering.
Benefits of fostering for me are that it keeps me active and gives me the chance to make a difference in bettering the lives of children.
The main challenges I have faced have been dealing with frustration especially with children with learning difficulties and recognising a situation before it escalates.
What I’ve found rewarding is when watching their confidence grow. One of my fondest memories was when I had 3 children under 3.
The oldest was like a mum to her younger sisters which was sad to see, or should I say shocking. I have her a pushchair and a doll to push down to the shops while her sisters were in a double buggy I had borrowed. She still felt like the oldest, but it gave her the change to be a child, possibly for the first time.
If I was to describe fostering in 3 words it would be hard, challenging and rewarding.
Nexus fostering have given me advice many times on different was to approach situations. My social worker has been helpful many times and the courses have helped me.
I would be lying if I said it was easy. The young people have had to adjust too, but after a while they accepted and understand, and they say they’d find it hard to have it any other way now.
If someone asked me what it was like to be a foster carer, I would say you will need to have patience, be understanding and things do become easier. If you’re in any doubt of becoming a long term carer be there for emergency placements for a while.
Could you join people like Heidi from London, and foster? Make an enquiry and we’ll call you back!