Emma is a foster carer with Caritas Care; and she thought long and hard before making her decision to investigate into fostering. Like many people, Emma encountered the ‘myths about fostering’ and as a result; she waited a long time to start. However, Emma reached a point in her life and thought, ‘I might as well go for it!’ There never seemed to be ‘a right time’; so, she took the decision and decided that ‘now was a good time’.
Emma shares her story on becoming a foster carer with Caritas Care; her decision to foster and the significance this decision has made on her life; and more importantly; the impact it has made on the lives of children in her care.
Emma’s fostering journey with Caritas Care.
‘I felt like I could provide a loving and stable home to children that are vulnerable and in need. It was quite a wild decision for me to make about becoming a foster carer; but, with lots of ‘talking it through’, and ‘thinking about it’ I decided to ‘just go for it!’
‘I did look at other agencies and my local authority, but I just felt that Caritas Care had a smaller family feel to it; I could tell that the support would be there for the children and me. Initially, in my head, I thought it would be better if I were married and had a family of my own; then I would foster or adopt. But the point came where I was still single; I have my job as an Occupational therapist; so, I thought, well, when is it going to be the time? There is space in my house, and I feel like I can give love and stability to children; so, I thought I am just going to have to go for it really!’
The process took 6 months with the same Social worker working with me.
‘The process has taken about 6 months in terms of the assessment. I felt at ease throughout it because it was the same Social worker’s team who would visit me regularly. It was mainly like having regular conversations; getting to know each other and going through my life story together. In my first placement, I had 3 children with me. The first child was 14 at the time, the middle one was seven, and the youngest was five, and the needs of the children had been neglected in several ways. I think the children had been very loved; however, the children’s needs had not been met’.
Creating structure, boundaries, and routines were important.
‘The children had not had any boundaries or routines before; consequently; these were massive changes they needed to get used to. I do not think the children realised that they need these changes; however, they thrived when I provided them. You could tell that they appreciated them, and the children knew that I would be there for them, no matter what’.
‘The oldest child was with me for about seven months, and the younger two were with me for about nine months. It was amazing to see the changes in them whilst they were here. The children were very sociable as well; they loved going to groups, and even to my church. They loved going to anywhere that they would be around people’.
Caritas removed the ‘myths’ about fostering for me.
‘Sometimes, there are myths that you cannot foster if you are single, or from a particular faith; I am a Christian, and therefore, I prayed about it. There was something else that I considered too; would I be able to foster because I have not had any children of my own, and would I have the skills to do this? Caritas Care reassured me that it was not going to be an issue. It was a matter of having a spare bedroom and providing love, consistency, and stability to children’.
‘Keeping children together was important for me; they needed to have each other’.
‘I feel it is important that these children can stay together because the children that came into my care; it was a huge difference to them settling in. This was because they had each other; they came from the same place and the same background; they had a bond already with each other’.
‘I am really excited now to meet with whoever is going to be coming here next!’
Emma: proud Foster Carer with Caritas Care.
Emma: one of Caritas Care’s #FacesOfFostering
If you would like answers to the myths of fostering as Emma did such as ‘When is a good time for fostering?’ What do I have to do to become a foster carer? What skills do I need to become a foster carer with Caritas Care? And many more questions you would like answers to, please get in touch? We would be delighted to speak with you and advise you on becoming a foster carer for vulnerable children in our community.
‘Together, we can make a difference to the lives of children in care’.