From social worker to Foster carer - Mary
02 June 2023
02 June 2023
Mary a single carer shares her fostering journey with us. From transitioning over from a Social Worker to becoming a full time foster carer. Mary fosters children on a long term basis and loves what she does.
I had considered becoming a foster carer for many years, as my friends have or are still fostering. Over the years, I have seen the difference they have made in children’s lives, and I wanted to do the same. I had seen some friends foster a young child into adulthood and the positive outcomes the child had from this. I would see my foster friends at events or gatherings and ask questions about the process, the challenges, and the rewards. I am a single parent and was in a position to give up my role as a social worker to become a foster carer. I knew I needed lots of time to support a child in my home, and I felt ready to take the next step and apply.
Once I had decided that fostering was what I wanted to do, I knew it was the right time to reach out to Nexus Fostering. I ensured I had a spare room for the foster child to sleep in, as foster children cannot share a bedroom with anyone else. I had researched a lot about fostering and had an initial home visit from a Nexus Fostering social worker. It was a relaxed visit, and I felt at ease and comfortable. Nexus Fostering then assessed my home and found out about my family, life experiences, and the support I had around me. The process took six months, and I was given extensive training during this period, which fitted around my daily life commitments at the time.
Once I was approved, I was very excited as I had been dreaming of this for a while. I remember feeling nervous but couldn’t wait to get stuck in. I was allocated a social worker who would stay with me through my fostering journey and provide me with lots of support in person and over the phone. I remember receiving my first referral for a young person who was a potential match to come and live with me. I looked through the information I was provided with, and that’s when it sunk in: I was going to be doing this! I felt prepared as much as possible and knew I had the support from Nexus Fostering, friends and family.
I know how important it is to be matched with a child’s cultural needs, and being from the bame community, I wanted to support children in making sure they had someone to support them with this, that could be helping with their hair care, clothes they like to wear, food dishes from their culture, to social groups they want to remain a part of.
The first time I welcomed a child into my home, I felt at ease due to my extensive training, but I was also naturally nervous as I wanted to make sure I made the child feel at ease and welcomed into my home. I have now fostered several children, and each time, it is a different experience as the child has their own unique personality, which I love finding out and getting to know.
To anyone considering becoming a foster carer, take the leap and apply. You have nothing to lose, and it is one of the most rewarding careers you will ever do in your life. To this day, I still get excited when I get a referral for a child, as it means I will be helping someone else flourish and welcome into my home.
If you can make a positive difference like Mary then get in touch at a time that suits you - Contact Us | Nexus Fostering
02 June 2023