Foster Care Fortnight 2020
- About the campaign
- Interviews - hear from our foster carers
- Interviews - hear from our fostering staff
- Get involved
Running from 11 to 24 May 2020, Foster Care Fortnight is the national awareness campaign headed up by national charity The Fostering Network. It aims to not only raise the profile of fostering, but to increase awareness around the power of fostering to transform the lives of children and young people.
The theme for this year's campaign is ‘This Is Fostering’, which we hope will convey a varied and authentic picture of the contributions of the people involved in fostering, and how foster care transforms the lives of children and young people across the country. For those who have had their lives transformed by fostering, this is the perfect opportunity to tell their stories.
This Foster Care Fortnight we interviewed a few of our foster carers and members of our fostering team, to hear first-hand about their experience being a foster carer and working in the fostering team. Read their stories below.
How long have you been a foster carer? My husband and I have worked with Haringey for over 20 years, first we were supported lodgings carers looking after young people between the ages of 15 and 21, then we moved to fostering about 9 years ago.
What type of foster carer are you (teenage, respite, long/short term)? We are short term foster carers and also provide respite where possible.
Do you currently have a child in your care? If so, how long have they been in your care? We just looked after a baby from birth to 15 months he moved to adoption three weeks ago, so we currently have a vacancy. It feels very odd!
How has your experience been fostering through Haringey? We have been very fortunate with our supervising social workers, which has helped when perhaps we have had issues.
Why did you decide to become a foster carer? We like being around children and young people, more recently my husband and I have really enjoyed fostering babies and under-fives, getting all of their brain development right or repaired, so that they can build on that and go on to have a secure attachment and futures. We also had family friends who fostered, and we could see it was something we could do.
What have you learnt from being a foster carer? Never judge another person or their situation.
What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a foster carer? If you want to foster, remember it’s not just you that fosters it’s your whole family, and make sure you have a good support network around you! Also remember Self Care!
How long have you been a foster carer? I have been a foster carer for seven years.
What type of foster carer are you (teenage, respite, long/short term)? I am a teenage and long-term carer.
Do you currently have a child in your care? If so, how long have they been in your care? I have two children in my care, one is five years old and the other is two years old.
How has your experience been fostering through Haringey? My experience with Haringey has been good. With the training we have learnt how to cope with the everyday challenges.
Why did you decide to become a foster carer? I decided to become a foster carer because I wanted to give back to the community and we have achieved a lot through this country.
What have you learnt from being a foster carer? I have learnt from my job as foster carer, that it is rewarding, and you have to be mentally strong to deal with the challenges that face us.
What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a foster carer? If someone wanted to become a foster carer I would tell them to do it, because it give you satisfaction knowing that you can help change a young person’s life and make the child feel loved and cared for.
How long have you been a foster carer? I have been a foster carer now for 10 and a half years.
What type of foster carer are you (teenage, respite, long/short term)? I began fostering as a short-term carer for 0-2-year olds. Three years ago, I was approved as a long-term carer for 0-18 year olds. I was recently approved for a long-term carer for my current placement.
Do you currently have a child in your care? If so, how long have they been in your care? I currently have two children in my care, they are a brother and sister placement. They have been with me now for three and a half years. I have recently been approved as their long-term foster carer.
How has your experience been fostering through Haringey? I have had a varied experience with fostering as I started fostering 0-2 years, which then progressed on to older children and now I have been recently approved as a long-term carer. Being able to experience all of these different age ranges has been amazing, and really teaches how to adapt to lots of different challenges and situations.
My greatest experience of fostering will always be my first placement. That first placement was of a baby girl, who now is my youngest daughter. She will always be my greatest achievement and experience through fostering, and I will forever be grateful for it.
Why did you decide to become a foster carer? Fostering was something that always interested me. I often saw the poster and imagined being able to have a positive influence in a child’s life. I finally applied when my two oldest children were old enough to understand what I was doing and why.
What have you learnt from being a foster carer? While fostering you are constantly learning. I have learnt now more than ever, the importance of being patient, flexible and empathetic towards everyone we meet. I have also learnt the importance of our actions over the words we use. The way we act towards each other are much more important than the words we use.
However, I have also learnt the importance of using my voice in order to speak up for the children in my care. I need to be able to speak up and advocate for the children, in front of a variety of professionals. Being able to do this allows the children to get the correct level of support.
What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a foster carer? I would always encourage people to become a foster carer. However, you have to be totally aware of what you are signing up for. Nonetheless, if you have room in your heart for more children you could be a foster carer. It is one of the most varied, challenging but rewarding jobs you could have. To be able to see a child grow and watch the confidence in the children grow is a pleasure.
What is your role within the fostering team at Haringey? I am a Supervising Social Worker.
How long have you been working within the team? I have been working in the fostering team since June 2019.
What is the best thing about working in the fostering department? The best thing about working in the fostering department is, the fact we always aim to offer the best care to the most vulnerable children and young people to reach their full potential.
What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a foster carer? Do it. You will be supported every single step of the way to offer care to children in Haringey.
What is your role within the fostering team at Haringey? I am a Supervising Social Worker.
How long have you been working within the team? I have been working on the fostering team since January 2020.
What is the best thing about working in the fostering department? Team spirit, comradery and working with foster carers who want to work with and alongside other professionals.
What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a foster carer? Supporting children and young people who are less fortunate than others within the context of fostering can be a very rewarding experience. It is an excellent way of giving something back to the community, one which you can use your existing skills, as well as develop new skills and grow personally and professionally.
What is your role within the fostering team at Haringey? I am the Team Manager for the Fostering Recruitment and Special Guardianship Assessment and Support Team.
How long have you been working within the team? In total I have been in the Haringey Fostering Service for nine years. In various roles. As a manager in the team for two years.
What is the best thing about working in the fostering department? I have the privilege of working with very committed and dedicated Social Workers and Foster Carers, who go over and beyond what is expected of them to support Haringey’s Looked after children. I am very proud of the diverse range of foster carers who foster for us, who bring a richness of cultures and values to the service. This not only reflects the local community but also contributes to the experience of a child who is fostered.
What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a foster carer? Foster carers continually share with us, that fostering is one of the most rewarding experiences they have done. They are able to offer very vulnerable children, safety and comfort at a very difficult time in their life. Being able to do this is a privilege.
It is not always easy but having come through the challenges is even more rewarding. Being a foster carer, means being a role model, and a protector, you may not always have the answers or know what the right thing is to do. We are always here to support and guide you.
With such a great need, now is the time to start finding out more about taking those first steps towards becoming a foster carer. Why not contact the team this Foster Care Fortnight and start that journey to change a young person’s future? If interested, you can:
- Find out how you can become a foster carer or
- call us on 020 8489 3754.