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Single carer and thriving

Tonya Knights

Tonya's Story

Many years ago, I decided to look into fostering. However, at that stage, I didn’t pursue it. Moving forward two decades, my circumstances allowed me to dedicate my time to a child or young person, which meant I could follow the fostering journey, which was a very exciting prospect.

Although I do not have any birth children, as part of a large family, I have experience with children, and I thrive on encouraging children & young people to feel empowered.

I am the founder of a Charity and a Social Enterprise. Through the Social Enterprise, I visit schools, colleges, universities and community groups to deliver bespoke lessons to children and young adults of all ages. I am lucky to be able to tailor my timetable, which allows me always to be child-centric, putting the needs of my foster child first.

What has been the biggest surprise about fostering?

As a single carer, initially, I was reluctant to look into Fostering as I didn't think I would be accepted. However, I was very wrong! From the first point of contact with Nexus to the current day, I am so pleased to have chosen Nexus for my fostering journey. I have felt entirely supported by Nexus every step of the way. Nexus has an Ofsted Outstanding report, and their professionalism and support shine's through. So whatever your circumstances, if you are considering fostering, please get in touch with Nexus. You will be welcomed by a wonderful team.

Do you have a support network around you? If yes, who supports you?

As a single carer, having a strong support network is so important. I am fortunate to have some fantastic people around me. I have chosen my support network with different roles in mind, and this has worked very well. I have a large extended family and some close friends who are my chosen family.

When I decided to start my fostering journey, I knew I would need a good support network, so I approached each person individually to explain my thoughts, and they were all very supportive.

Do you remember when you were matched with your first foster child, how did you feel, did you feel prepared?

To adapt to becoming a foster carer, firstly, it wasn’t just me that needed to adapt! Initially, I had to ensure my home was safe for a child or young person, which forms part of the application process. I also decided to accept and attend any relevant training session that Nexus offered during the application process to the current day, which has also helped me to adapt.

I felt prepared as much as possible for my first foster child. However, when a match is made, it is all systems go! This was a time my support network and friends were so helpful. I soon had everything I needed for my foster child.

I remember very well when I was matched with my first and current foster placement! I knew instantly when reading the referral he was a match! On 22nd April, I was sent a referral for a 5-year-old, and after asking lots of questions, he came to stay on a short-term basis in April and is still with me.

My foster child is considered a therapeutic placement. He is a fantastic young boy who is thriving. Deciding to foster with Nexus, is one of the best decisions I have ever made!

What top tips would you give to someone considering fostering?

I would advise anyone considering fostering; firstly if you are thinking about Fostering, don’t be afraid to take the first step! Then, contact Nexus and such a warm, welcoming team will greet you.

I also advise anyone considering fostering to discuss this seriously with anyone who will be sharing your fostering journey with you, including your support network.

Always ask questions! If you have anything on your mind that needs clarification, please ask. All questions are valid, and the Nexus team is very approachable and will happily answer all your questions, enabling you to make an informed decision.

Nexus offers informative training sessions which cover a variety of topics. When offered any training, I recommend attending ALL training courses during your assessment period and then continuing to attend courses you are offered when you become foster carer/s! Training helps you to develop personally, and you can choose courses that will help you with any current foster children, or topics you would like to familiarise yourself with.

Anything else you would like to add?

I have just completed my first year of fostering with Nexus and I have felt completely supported by the Nexus wrap around support. Fostering is challenging. However, with every challenge comes amazing outcomes. When I first looked into fostering, I researched who I would like to Foster with, and Nexus came out on top. Nexus has an Ofsted Outstanding rating, which shines through with the support you are offered. So if you have been thinking about fostering, please take the first step and get in touch with Nexus, you will be made to feel very welcome.


Fostering stories


  • Advice
  • Therapeutic
  • Young person

Date published

01 June 2023

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