It was our golden opportunity to foster- Bobbie's inspiring fostering journey
31 August 2023
31 August 2023
Bobbie and her husband Daniel have been approved foster carers since 2018. Their placement is now coming up to be 13 years old and loves being part of their family. Bobbie and Daniel’s inspiring fostering journey, explains how Nexus Fostering’s therapeutic support has been a vital part of their success and how they have advocated for their child at the highest possible level. Bobbie believes a ‘foster carer should be a keen advocate, who can keep calm in stressful situations, always puts their child first, and keeps a good working relationship with all the professional bodies involved’.
Bobbie had worked in childcare for over 20 years as a Registered Ofsted nanny and childminder. As her birth sons 21 and 32, had become adults and as one went to University, Bobbie explained ‘We had talked as a family and made a combined decision that this could work for us, she felt it was a golden opportunity to foster’.
After having spoken to a few agencies, Bobbie and Daniel felt Nexus Fostering was the right agency for them and explained ‘it had more of a family feel to it, I felt we could be part of that process’.
After applying in May 2017, Bobbie and her husband were approved just over 5 months later. She describes the process; ‘it was fairly straightforward with a lot of personal documents, paperwork, interviews, etc., things I had been very used to as a registered child carer. I had researched the requirements, so there were no nasty surprises! We enjoyed the face-to-face training as well.’ Bobbie also mentioned ‘We had to question Nexus with certain practices that are in place and move forward in how the world is changing in terms of digital advances- however, this has been acknowledged through the Carer Advisory Board, of which I am a member.’
Their first placement, an 8-year-old boy, arrived with them over 5 years ago in April 2019. Bobbie explains the highs and lows of their journey so far. ‘The highs are the achievements of the child in your care - being able to advocate successfully and giving them the best possible opportunities and the fruits of that labour. I have done lots of independent additional training culminating in an advocacy Level 2 City & Guilds. Our child now calls me Mum, which was never prompted. He loves the family and has performed amazingly in education. We still have challenges, but these are approached with love and care, it's an ongoing process. The lows are having to deal with LA’s who are painfully slow, changes in Social Workers and relevant funding. Also, having to dispel the myth that a Foster Carer isn't the “professional” in the room - I make very sure that this NEVER happens to me! Contact is also always a low point for us, but if managed to reflect the child's wishes, can be an important one.’
Bobbie and Daniel have also done emergency respite for two younger children for 8 days. Bobbie talks about her successes
‘I think the key to our successes has been to make sure that we had every possible piece of information about the child - this will help form strategies, activities, professional bodies, and educational requirements more efficiently. Make everything as transparent as possible, trust with a foster child is key. Managing your expectations is important - your child isn't necessarily going to respond to the same parenting techniques that you have had with your own birth children, be prepared for feelings of failure, and not doing the job to the best of your ability. But Nexus’ therapeutic support has been vital in our case, another reason that we chose them above others. I always ask questions and have the attitude that “just because it is, doesn’t make it so”. If we are not advocating for our children at the highest possible level, how can this reflect on our children as a successful outcome?’.
Bobbie gives the following advice to anyone who is considering becoming a foster carer;
Would you like to take the first steps on your fostering journey? If you think you have what it takes to become a foster carer, take a look at what we offer as an Ofsted Outstanding Fostering Agency and book a call here to enquire and speak to a member of our team.
31 August 2023