I have wanted to be a foster carer for a long time, and recently, I was approved as a sole foster carer with Walsall Council. I have always enjoyed working with children and watching them develop and improve in all walks of life, and I wanted to put this, as well as my own life experiences, to good use. My assessing social worker looked into my skills and qualities and appreciated that the life experiences and challenges I have faced, both in childhood and adulthood would help me to be able to help children in need. My own young son, who is currently four, is the right kind of age to be able to get used to the new ‘fostering’ way of life, and he makes everybody feel so welcome.
I approached my local authority, as well as an agency, and compared the pros and cons of each. In the end I felt that fostering with a local authority would suit my young son’s needs more, and that this was the best route for us. The agency had already explained that they got the more difficult children to place and the children would probably be older than my four year old. The local authority training and process was very efficient and I was extremely impressed with the professionalism of all the staff I had spoken to. There has been a great support network and when I have needed to let off steam there has always been somebody I have been able to talk to. Being part of the Fostering Network means there is also a community of support, which sometimes is needed.
For me this was the best decision I have ever made, it can be very challenging and some compromises have been made however it also has been extremely rewarding. To be able to watch a child that is placed with you make positive steps to improve whatever issues they are trying to work through is worth all the hard work. It has made me feel very proud of what I do.