Gloucestershire mum, Emily Griffiths, is realistic about the role of a foster carer: “Looking after any child is challenging, rewarding and enjoyable; looking after a foster child is no different! The difference comes in the support and training you have. That equips you to look at each situation as it arises and think, yes, I can handle this.”
Providing the right care
“My husband Tim and I decided to foster once our own children were on their way to adulthood. I knew we had more to offer and didn’t want to stop being a ‘mum’, so I got in touch with our local independent fostering agency, Nexus Fostering. They were responsive, flexible and offered the training to support us to provide the right care for our foster children.”
Fostering just fitted in with our lives
“I’ve always worked in child care and caring for people with disabilities, but mostly in a nursery caring for little ones. I loved it, I really did, but I needed a change and fostering just fitted in with our lives. The rewards are great and I had lots of transferrable skills from my time in the nursery.”
“As with all work, there’s a fair amount of meetings and paperwork, but Nexus will help you with this and it gives you an opportunity to reflect on how much progress your foster child has made since they arrived.”
“The other thing I would say is that there is a common misconception about the types of children you care for. Let me say that from the start, the people at Nexus are really careful about ‘matching’ the needs of a child with your skills and experience, but the final decision is yours. If, having read the paperwork about a child, you decide you couldn’t manage an aspect of their lives, whatever it may be, you can say so and they will respect your decision. For instance, at the moment, we’re caring for a ten year old boy with quite significant learning disabilities. We knew we could offer him the right kind of care because of my work experience, and we were right – he’s flourishing! So much so, that he’s staying with us on a long term basis, which is great because we all love him and he’s a very important member of our family.”
If you would like to foster, please contact Nexus Fostering on 0800 389 0143 (calls are free from mobile phones and landlines) or get in touch with us online.