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The Story of Adrian, a Prison Officer turned Foster Carer, impacting the lives of young people in his local community. Are you ready to make a change?
Adrian, A former prison officer at HMP Nottingham for 27 years, turned his hand to fostering in February 2017 and feels like it has given him a new sense of purpose.
“We have a long-term placement of two boys, currently aged 12 and 14, and I have enjoyed sharing the day to day experiences with them. We have evolved from being strangers into a family.”
It’s not only Adrian and his wife that are feeling the benefits of their decision to foster, “for the boys, I feel that we have provided a strong, stable and supportive base from which they will hopefully be able to grow into successful, independent young men.”
Whilst much of the role of being a Foster Carer involves parenting the young person in your care you’ll also be working as part of a team with other professionals including social workers, and sometimes counsellors and therapists. As part of helping your young person you will need to write regular reports on their progress and behaviours and document milestones with them. You will receive specialist training, support and guidance to help you do this throughout your time with Nexus Fostering.
All Foster Carers receive a professional fee called a Fostering Allowance. The Fostering Allowance also covers the cost of caring for the child, for example buying clothes and school supplies. The fee is dependent on the type of placement you have and your experience as a Foster Carer. More information on the fostering allowance can be found at www.gov.uk
Though the two careers may seem very different, Adrian says they aren’t as different as you might think, “being a prison officer is an excellent background for fostering. In that environment, you deal with people who have many of the same issues and problems, albeit at a later stage in life.”
“A person who has worked in a prison environment for a substantial period, is likely to have developed many skills that are of value as a foster carer like empathy, compassion and an ability to listen and provide a calm and steady influence when problems arise.”
You can read more about the practical requirements of fostering here.
Fostering can be a challenging and demanding role but it comes with some fantastic rewards and the chance to make a real impact on the life of a local young person.
So, what would Adrian say if he had to describe fostering in 3 words? “Challenging, interesting, rewarding.”