Fostering is a fulfilling experience and will change your life for the better as much as it will for the children or young people in your care. We spoke to some local carers who foster for us about their first-hand experiences:
Over the 2 years that Lynn and her husband have been fostering, they have cared for teenagers.
“We have often found that they have very low self-esteem and a negative view of their futures,” Lynn explains. “It can be difficult, but we work hard to gain their trust and show them that they can have a positive future to look forward to.”
Lynn and her husband already have some great memories from their time as Foster Carers. Their fondest memories are of those times when they have been able to give the young people in their care the opportunity to experience things for the first time that many families take for granted, like when they took a 15-year-old for their first visit to the zoo.
“We often keep in touch with the young people once they leave us,” says Lynn. “It is wonderful to hear good news stories from them on their progress.”
Lynn’s advice for fostering teenagers is that they need plenty of energy and stamina, and you need to enjoy their company.
“It helps to have a sense of humour,” she adds, “and to be open minded and up for a challenge.”
Dee used to work as a Teaching Assistant in a school for children with disabilities, then decided it was time for a change. In the years since Dee became a Link Carer, she has looked after 12 children.
Dee supports three local children who come to her for a couple of nights a month, although Link Carers can do more or less than this. The children who Dee supports all communicate non-verbally and need clear routines and help with their personal care. Dee loves having the children over and sees them as an extension of the family. When they come to stay, they go out, or just relax at home.
“I love it when a child achieves something we thought they couldn’t do,” says Dee. “Like making a pizza, climbing a rock wall, brushing their teeth, and washing and dressing themselves.”
Dee works closely with the parents to do what is best for their children. They talk to each other to make sure they offer consistent care.
“You need to be flexible and patient with the children,” Dee explains. “You need to try different things and work out what’s going on for that child.”
Having Link Care means the world to the families who Dee supports, and she knows they make the most of every minute. This gives parents and families the chance to catch up on some sleep or spend some time together.
Could you be a loving, supportive Foster Carer like Lynne, and Dee? Send us your enquiry today.