Faces of Fostering – Changing the dynamics of the fostering roles.

Faces of Fostering – Changing the dynamics of the fostering roles.

Sarah and Andrew planned originally that Sarah would be the primary foster carer, and Andrew would support her when he wasn’t working. Sarah is a teacher, and they looked at alternative ways of them both being at home more for the children.

Andrew has always worked full-time works as a Maintenance Engineer and Sarah will go back to work as a teacher in September and will work term time. With Sarah now going back to work, it means that she will have same holidays the children have; therefore, if Andrew was to become the full-time carer, they would have holidays together. They spoke with Lucy, and they decided that Andrew would become the primary carer for the children.

Andrew will take over as the primary foster carer in September, and he is really looking forward to it. They both agree that the roles of the family will change; however, the dynamics of the family as a unit won’t.

Andrew said, “I am excited to do it; I can’t wait to begin. I like being busy, and I know that I will still be busy as a full-time foster carer. I will have our birth son aged 2 and our foster child who is 10 years old; that will keep me busy!”

Sarah said, ‘the children will have two strengths to draw from; there is a unique balance between both of us, and they will have two carers.’

Sarah said, ‘I know that women’s roles in the family are traditional as nurturing, kind and caring. Andrew is also the more chilled out and laid back of us both; he’s also the one to do the daft things with the children.’

’However, this does not mean that Andrew doesn’t do the everyday things in the home. In fact, he often does things better, and the children love it.’

Sarah added,’ some people think that men don’t get involved with the girly things. Sometimes people feel that mainly women do these things; however, Andrew gets involved in anything our foster child wants him to.’

‘I think that men are more adaptable; they have qualities that we don’t have as women and that men can foster and play an active part in the home and bringing up children.’

‘We saw an article recently of a couple who had been fostering for a long time.’ ’The article appeared to focus on the woman, and I felt her poor husband was left out because it read it was all about her. I am sure, in reality, her husband played as much a part in the fostering role as his wife did; but I don’t think that men get the credit they deserve.’

Sarah and Andrew, our role reversal in our family, is aimed to inspire children.

Both Sarah and Andrew agree that their role reversal in fostering will hopefully inspire their children. Sarah said, ‘I know that traditionally, the man goes out to work and women stay at home caring for the family.’ ‘However, times have changed, and I have been teaching children for over 8 years; my career and teaching children is very important to me.’

‘Also, I want to inspire our foster child to be whatever she wants to be, and that men and women have equal roles.’ ‘I want her to know that she can be a career woman; she can have a family and a home with a successful relationship with her partner.’

‘I also want her to realise that when she’s at school, her teacher will be like me; they will go home and have everyday lives in the same way we have a normal life together when I am not teaching.’ ‘I want her to be inspired by this.’

‘Maybe one day she would like to be a teacher, or whatever it is that she wants to be?’ ” I want her to know anything is possible; at the end of the day, we are family, and that’s all that matters.”

‘So, in September, I will go back to work after maternity leave and begin teaching in a local Special Needs Secondary School.’ ‘I will work term-time and have all the holidays our children will have.’ Also, now Andrew is the primary foster carer; he will have all the holidays off with us instead of the 4 weeks he would have had.’

‘We will be a fostering family, and more importantly, we can spend more family time together.’  ‘Also, our son is a Mummy’s boy, so this means that Andrew and our son can have real father and son time together; something he has missed out on because, other than when he had a few weeks paternity leave, and a few weeks in lockdown, he has always been in full-time work.’

Click here to read more about Sarah and Andrew’s fostering story…

Click here to enquire about fostering with Caritas Care

Rated Outstanding by Ofsted.

 

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