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Are you part of a fostering family?

21 January 2016

Cassie is 17 and the youngest of three children. Her parents have been foster carers with Nexus Fostering for about six years. Cassie’s shared her home and her life with a number of other young people. This is her story:

I’m like a ‘big sister’

“When a child or young person arrives at our home, I really feel anxious for them and I try to be the first person to welcome them, sit with them, show them their room and where everything is. I know they will feel comfortable with my mum and dad because they’re fun and kind, but our foster children talk to me first because I’m nearer their age and they treat me like a friend. For me, it’s a big compliment and I really enjoy my role as ‘big sister’, showing them the family routines, explaining who’s who in their foster family, teaching them new skills and introducing them to my friends at football practice and Tai Kwando.  As the baby of the family, it’s lovely for me to look after and help someone younger than me!”

Sounding board

“Some of the things I’ve heard make me so sad; some children’s lives are unbelievably hard so when our foster children need to talk about what’s happened to them, they usually choose their foster carers own children as a ‘sounding board’.”

Listening and keeping everyone safe

“All foster carer’s children are supported and are trained by Nexus Fostering to listen and respond appropriately if they choose to talk to us about something difficult.  We have to make sure we don’t ask leading questions or comment.  It can be hard because we’re used to chatting with our friends, asking them questions and giving our thoughts on things.  You just can’t do that with a foster child.  Yes, you’re their friend, but we have to be careful to make sure they’re safe and anything they tell us is handled in the correct way.  Nexus Fostering helps us with that.  They offer us training and guidance right from the word ‘go’ and they’re always there to offer friendly and realistic advice.”

Moving on doesn’t have to mean ‘goodbye’

“The hardest thing is when children move on, but we really try to keep in touch with them and encourage them to come back for family occasions or just to pop in and say ‘hi’. It always amazes me how much their confidence grows when they live with us and the fact that they come back means we all succeeded in making them feel welcome and ‘at home’ with us.” 

I’m going to be a foster carer

“I wouldn’t change my life for the world. Being with other people who need your support and care is both humbling and rewarding and I feel so privileged to be part of their lives. When I’m older, I’m going to be a foster carer.”

 

 

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