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Friendship isn’t a big thing. It’s a million little things.

It is so important to have a strong support network around you as you become a foster carer, our countryside carer tells us more...

17 December 2021

During the process of becoming foster carers, we were asked to create a support system web which laid out who we have in our lives to support us, our children and any placement children who should cross our paths.

 

It was quite a cathartic experience because we really needed to think about who would we not only trust implicitly, but who would be even willing to step up and take on the responsibility of being named as our ‘go-to’ people. Luckily, we have a fairly strong support network but writing names down, we found out, is a lot different than people actually stepping up. 

 

Our placement children come from a home which was incredibly insular. It was just them and their parents. They had no outsider influences such as family members or friends who came and visited. When they arrived with us we were drowning in covid regulations and we therefore, obviously, had no visitors or in fact any interaction with anyone else. It was a very isolating time for our family as usually we are highly social and our house is usually the gathering place for our groups of friends. 

 

When, finally, restrictions began to ease and the children went back to school and we started to see people, those who truly embraced our newly formed family began to show their faces. One couple in particular have astounded me in how adaptive and receptive they have been to our recent additions. They managed to make them feel welcome and loved without overpowering them and they fully understood the need to be patient when engaging in conversations or pleasantries.

 

It’s a very difficult situation to navigate as the non-foster parent adults in these children’s lives. This couple, who have no child based training other than being fantastic parents themselves, made our newbies adore them. And it’s the small things that make the difference. The cheeky fist bump, knowing that the tiny one isn’t a fan of physical contact, making sure they seek them out when they arrive to say hello and the little confidence boosting comments about liking a new back pack or jumper. Some people are blessed with good natures and generous hearts and I know that these last 18 months would have been a whole lot harder without them.

 

So, thank you. Thank you from me, from my husband, children, the placement children…thank you. What you do so naturally makes the world of difference and I can’t imagine taking this road without you both by my side. 

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