“My wife decided it was time for us to try fostering. She had been working in a bank for the last 23 years and took voluntary redundancy. We came to Nexus Fostering and did about a years’ worth of training and finally got our first placement of an 8 day old baby. We had him for 16 months, with other placements alongside it in that time, and it has been a good 7 years. It’s about us giving the children a stable home.” Colin
“There’s lots of training and you can learn a lot, but there are certain things you need naturally. You need to be kind people, you need to enjoy being around children, and you need to be relatively happy because kids need to live in a good happy household. You need an enormous amount of patience and you need to be quite thoughtful. There’s the practicalities too – you need a spare bedroom, you need time, so we often prefer one or two of the carers to not be working. If you’re single you need to have a level of flexibility. There’s going to be times when the children are not in school. There are meetings and my gosh social work and social services have a lot of meetings! And they are usually in work hours.” Paul
“We match what the carers can do to what the child needs. When we get referrals, so when the local authority come to us and say X child needs a placement, we will look at our carers and see who best matches what that child needs.” Paul
“I would say that’s 100% true, of all the children that have come to us, Nexus have been very good at placing us with the right children. You don’t want to start on the wrong foot.
And you’re involved in that process, aren’t you? We share information with you, we never force a carer to take a child. Especially when you’ve been fostering for a while, like yourself, you have a certain amount of knowledge and you can work out if it’ll work.” Colin
“I wake up every morning and I’m looking forward to the day” – Colin
“Colin has, many times, come down and talked to people at events who want to be foster carers. We involve children in that too, looked after children. When people want to be carers and they come to our events and get the chance to talk to kids who’ve been there is enormously valuable. People say that’s the best thing. We like carers to have some family around to support them. But we do try to get the carers together. There’s training monthly, there’s support groups, we do provide events too. We organise the Christmas party, there’s the pantomime with the kids, there’s the summer picnic, the summer trip to Southend, wherever! We usually go to King Georges park in Brentwood for our picnic and it doesn’t cost a thing!” Paul
“If something comes up, me or Karen can pick up the phone and whoever answers it at the office will know us and will know our children. We have a great supporting social worker, but we can speak to anyone and they know us. That’s important.” Colin
“We have teenagers who are a joy to look after and to see them succeed and, if you like, open more doors for their lives going forward is absolutely wonderful. Some of the kids that we get will stretch our carers, but we have that support in place and we hope that we make the right match.” Paul
“As an agency, we get thousands of referrals for children [needing a placement] a week and we might not have the right home in the right place at that time. The more carers we have, the more children we can help.” Paul
Did you hear our interview? If so, and you’re interested in fostering with Nexus, why not get in touch? Paul and Colin are from our South East team in Hornchurch, but all of our offices are looking for more carers, so call us on 0800 389 0143.