Leanne decided she wanted to become a foster carer recently as she had decided to take a break from her previous career to support her daughter with additional learning needs through secondary school. Leanne was approved as a foster carer and had her first child placed with her during the pandemic, so we wanted to catch up with her about the experiences so far.
Q1. How many children have you cared for since starting your fostering journey?
I am at the start of my fostering journey and have only cared for 1 child so far, she is still with us at present. She came to us aged 16 months, she’s almost 2 years old now.
Q2. What have been the best and worst parts?
I think the best parts have been watching her grow and gain in confidence and ability, seeing her little personality develop into a happy little bundle of fun!
The worst part was that our first foster child was an emergency placement so we were told about her at teatime on a Friday and she had arrived by 9pm! I was totally unprepared so it was a frantic rush to get what we needed. But we were supported by our link social worker and thank goodness for 24 hour supermarkets! We managed, and on a positive note, we know that if we coped with this as our first placement, the next time should be easier.
I also think it is important to feel like part of a team around the child and occasionally I have to check in regularly with my link social worker to make sure we are kept up to date.
Q3. How has fostering changed since the pandemic?
We have gone through the process during the pandemic so have no knowledge of what it was like to foster before Covid-19. Things that have proved difficult have been online contact, mainly due to the age of our foster child. It has been hard to keep her engaged. But it is also worrying when contact is face to face due to the risks of spreading the virus.
I had managed to attend 2 training courses face to face before we went into second lockdown. All training is now online at the moment, which I find less engaging although I understand the necessity of doing it this way.
Q4. Has the support from your supervising Social Worker been the same since the pandemic?
Despite not being able to meet my link worker face to face, she is always available to me via email or over the telephone which I have found reassuring.
Do you think that you could do the same as Leanne? Would you like to learn new skills and be trained to be a Foster Carer and make a big difference to children in our local community? If so, give us a call today and we can chat through any questions that you have.
Posted on Friday 16th April 2021