Primary school Teacher switches 20 year career to take on life changing role as a Foster Carer
05 February 2024
05 February 2024
Primary school Teacher switches her 20 year Teaching career to take on life changing role as a Foster Carer and helps tackle fostering crisis by supporting children and young people.
Foster Carer Ruth tells us how she has always worked with children and has been a primary school Teacher for over twenty years. Ruth remembers she had a little boy start in her class who had been in foster care and had just been adopted. She was drawn to the whole process and wanted to learn more about it.' Ruth says, 'I thought, I can become a foster carer!'
Ruth put this thought on hold at the time as it wasn't the right time, and she didn't have a spare room. After one of Ruth's daughters then went to University she had some space, and at the time Ruth was getting fed up with the constant workload of teaching and fostering was still on her mind a lot but started chatting to her family and friends who all said she should go for it.
Ruth then made the phone call to Nexus Fostering in January when, at the time, she was at home with COVID and started exploring fostering a bit more in-depth. Ruth explained,
'We then had a home visit from Jo, a Supervising Social Worker, and she came round to talk to us, and she was so enthusiastic and thought we would be perfect, so that was it; we filled in the form, and here we are'.
Once the assessment process began, Ruth found this to be very therapeutic. Ruth remembers it being really good to go back to talk about the past and think about their own childhoods. They laughed, cried, and celebrated all they had done with their life so far. Ruth did find going to the fostering panel a little nerve-racking, but the questions were all easy to answer, and she was put at ease.
Once approved for fostering, Ruth recalls when their first foster children were about to arrive with them. This was arranged at fairly short notice which can be the case. Ruth and the family welcomed two girls into their home, and luckily, Ruth was able to get a cot out she already had and had time to buy new pyjamas and a mattress for them.
'When the girls arrived, they were so happy to be here and loved looking around the house. They had something to eat and went to bed well. Luckily, both my birth children were at home to meet and welcome them. It was lovely to put them to bed and go downstairs, knowing they were both asleep and safe upstairs. I knew I had made the right decision to foster.'
As a family, they have enjoyed the first year of fostering. Ruth has enjoyed going to the support groups and chatting at supervision sessions. Also, having enjoyed the face-to-face training and mixing with other foster carers.
'I think you should try and make as many friends with other foster carers as possible. You then have a support network, and you can have people to ask for advice who have been fostering longer than you and learn from their experience'.
The two girls Ruth is taking care of have settled into life well. All the family has embraced them and joined in with all the family events. Ruth's friends have also loved meeting the children and enjoyed being with them. Ruth explained, It has been strange having to get babysitters again if they want to go out as a couple, but they do have a good support network of friends to do this. The girls have started nursery and school while with us and are all settled and getting on well.
Fostering comes with its highs and lows, and Ruth recalls a memory that will last a lifetime with her.
'My standout memory is when a visiting Nexus Fostering Social Worker asked one of my foster girls, "Are you happy here?". The foster child said, "Yes, I cried all the time at my old house, and I don't cry here." 'Also, on Christmas morning, when the children could see that Father Christmas had been there and gave them a stocking'.
Ruth's birth children have enjoyed having little ones around and love to come home from University and see them. Ruth's children can spend the evening with her and go to their own bedrooms for peace and quiet if needed. They also like that Ruth is at home and can talk to her during the day if needed, which they couldn't do when she was teaching.
'I always know that there is someone on the end of the phone to ask if I have a question, and I have a great support group of foster carers. I have enjoyed my first year of fostering, and I'm so glad I made that first phone call to start my journey'.
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05 February 2024