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Foster Cwm Taf - Fostering for your Local Authority

Our first year as foster carers

Cath and Tim pic

Foster Carers Cath and Tim

Cath and Tim decided to become foster carers in early 2019. They have now been approved foster carers for a year, so we wanted to catch up with them about their experiences so far and find out what the future holds for them as a fostering family.

Q1. Why was fostering something that you and your family wanted to do?

Fostering was something that we had thought about for some time.  We felt we could make a positive difference to a child’s life.  Whilst parenting two children of our own we wanted to offer that opportunity to others and we knew that we could provide a warm, safe, loving and nurturing environment, which is something that all children need to thrive.

Q2. Can you remember making that first enquiry with us? What was it that made you get in touch and why did you choose to foster for your Local Authority?

After chatting to our own children and listening to their ideas and feelings, we made our initial enquiry by phone to Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.  We had researched other fostering agencies but chose our Local Authority as they were responsive, helpful and the support was excellent.  We also chatted to several other foster carers who were able to share their views and give us some brilliant advice. 

Q3. Can you talk us through your experience of the fostering assessment process?  

When the assessment began we felt a little apprehensive but this soon passed after meeting and getting to know our assessor who was there throughout.  She talked us through everything that was happening and kept us up to date about the progress of the assessment.  It was a very in-depth and personal experience but we expected this when being given such a huge responsibility as looking after a child, but particularly those who are the most vulnerable in our society. 

We attended a skills to foster course which was really informative and helpful.  We had lots of opportunity to ask questions and meet other foster carers.  We were also very fortunate to speak to young adults who had been in foster care. Listening to their experiences of growing up in foster care and what this meant for them was truly inspiring and gave us a real understanding about how we could help. 

The panel date was set and it was an exciting, if not a bit of a nervous experience. Everyone on the panel was friendly and any nerves we had were put to rest instantly.  We were asked several questions and were supported by our assessor who attended with us on the day. 

You can read more about the stages to become a foster carer here 

Q4. How long after being approved at panel was it before starting your first placement?

It was a few weeks after we were approved as foster carers that we welcomed our first placement who we’re proud to say is still with us today.  The last year has been full of happy times and has further enriched our family with lots of love and laughter.  This hasn’t been without some challenges along the way, but the feeling of being able to help a child and to see the progress they have made is so very heart warming and special.

Q5. Have you been able to access learning and development opportunities that have helped you as a foster carer?

There has been lots of training provided by RCT, all of which we have found interesting and valuable, but the best support and advice we have had has come from our Assessor Care Manager. She has inspired us and given us lots of information and help that we could not have obtained from training courses alone.  She has gone over and above to help us and we are very grateful to her for the level of support we have been given throughout our first year as foster carers.   

Q6. You’re now 12 months in, what affect has fostering had on you and your family?

Integrating a foster child into our family was a challenging and time consuming process. It took several months for us, but we are so pleased our little foster child has become an accepted member of our family who has formed close and trusting relationships with us all. 

We are immensely proud of our own children. Throughout this process their caring and kind natures have enabled them to positively share their parents with another child.

Q7. What would you say to anyone who is thinking about becoming a foster carer today?  

We are certain we made the right choice to become a foster family.  For us this means the giving of love, patience, and encouragement and while we will never see a reflection of our own eyes in this child we see something that is equally as powerful and important – a member of our family that is loved as our own. They will be treated as such for as long as they are with us and afforded every opportunity that we can give.

If you feel you can offer that level of care and commitment to a child, then do it and make an enquiry today.

 

 

Posted on Friday 11th September 2020