New foster carer Maggie - How I found the fostering assessment process - Part 1
09 November 2023
09 November 2023
After over a decade of considering becoming a foster carer, Maggie decided to give up work and become a full-time foster carer. Maggie shares her experiences with us on how she found the assessment process and why she wanted to foster after having her own children.
I'm Maggie, and I live in a quiet, tiny village, which is a nice place to live. I was brought up in a little village on the outskirts of Nottingham. It's in the middle of nowhere, and there were no streetlights, no shops, there was nothing around there. So, I was quite a big country girl growing up. I've got three siblings, and I've got two children and grandchildren. I also have my dog Teddy and my cats. I have now lived in the same home for 22 years. It is a nice, quiet area and perfect for bringing up children.
I am glad I have decided to give up work and do fostering as my full-time career. I've wanted to do this for a long time, but I am nervous. You are at the beginning. I have yet to have my first foster child live with me as I didn't want to foster alongside any other work. I handed in my notice at my current job to foster my full-time career. It will be an adjustment period, and I know that everyone goes through this at the beginning.
I am open to all ages and children, so I will be glad when I receive referrals for potential matches. I know Nexus Fostering is there around the clock 24/7, so no matter the age of the child I foster, they can support me. So I know I have got that support. So, that's what I liked about Nexus Fostering.
I have always wanted to foster, even when I was married before, but my husband at the time wasn't in a position to foster, so I had to put the fostering aside at that time in my life. Years later, I ended up getting divorced, so I could then consider doing this on my own. Then in 2019
I saw more about fostering, which sparked the idea of fostering back in my mind. I spoke with a different fostering agency, but they said I would need to continue working and fostering. Which I knew wouldn't be in the best interest of the child, so I didn't want to proceed with them. I then saw an advert for Nexus Fostering on the ITVX on demand. It was a really powerful video I watched. So, I did my research and made contact with Nexus Fostering. I thought, what have I got to lose? So that's why I did it. From then on, the ball started rolling, and that never stopped once we got started.
I had mentioned it a few times to my children before, but I am not sure they knew it was actually going to happen. I wanted to make sure they could speak to the grandchildren beforehand, well, especially the ones who are an appropriate age or may understand that another child is going to be living with me. My son had joked before about buying a 7-seater car.
After I had applied and had my initial visit, I started the assessment process, which has been good and eye-opening. I've enjoyed it. My assessor, Steph, has been brilliant. I couldn't have asked for a better assessor.
Having a good relationship with them is nice, as they ask personal questions during the assessment process. It is unpicking your life, skills, experiences, and challenges you have faced.
First, it was hard opening up because I'm not usually a person who talks about myself. I am usually the listener. It is a big thing to open up about your own life story. This wasn't something that came naturally to me, but then, once we got talking, Steph put me at ease, and I did end up finding it therapeutic. I did know a bit of what was coming because I've done a lot of research and knew it would be in-depth. I didn't realise how in-depth, but by the time we finished, I noticed I had spoken about things I had never really talked about before, which felt nice. This is all done to get the right match between me and the child.
Getting started was my favourite part about the assessment process, as I knew by then I was on that rollercoaster, and there was no getting off now. Years of excitement now came to the realisation that this was happening. It was great.
Head to part 2 to find out Maggie's passion for wanting to foster, what sparked her initial interest, and what the future looks like - New foster carer Maggie - How I found the fostering assessment process - Part 2 | Nexus Fostering
09 November 2023