Fosterers and the joy of caring

AS NATIONAL Foster Care Fortnight drew to a close, a Montrose foster carer has gone on record to encourage others who are interested to find our more.

Debbie was brought up in a family which cared for foster children. She believes in supporting children who have not had a positive start or beginning in their lives, and strongly supports the idea that children will flourish within a family environment offering support and encouragement.

From her own experience as a child living with children her parents fostered, she understands why positive family relationships can really make a big difference in the lives of children.

She explained: “It’s really important that a foster care family can offer the right emotional and physical support which the child needs. It is equally important that the foster family can offer the ongoing acknowledgement that birth parents also continue to love their children.”

Her main belief remains that the motivation for anyone considering undertaking foster care is that they want to nurture the child for whom they are caring. This can mean everything from routine trips to the doctor and dentist through to encouraging hobbies and interests, and ensuring that school work is supported.

Debbie continued: “Generally, it’s really about helping the child to do normal family things and activities, and making sure that they are safe and feel part of a bigger family and the wider community. It is also important that your own family life flows. That supports the integration of the foster child or children much more easily into your home. Ultimately, what you want for a child is a successful placement that supports their needs.

“The training that Angus Council provides is really helpful and insightful. There is also the ongoing support from a link worker from Social Work and Health and that definitely supports you through the child’s placement. I have found it particularly helpful to be able to access support at any time for any issues you may encounter. The link worker is also keen to hear about your successes!”

And Angela in Arbroath has been a foster carer for over four years.

She said: “The Social Work and Health department is very good at supporting and ensuring that the child or children that you provide care for fit and match the needs of your own family. This has worked really well. The matching process is carefully thought through and allows the foster placement to be as successful as possible.

“It’s the little things along the way in fostering, such as being thanked that show the real difference and steps that are being taken forward that makes a difference in the children’s lives that you are caring for.”

Councillor Glennis Middleton, convener of social work and health, said: “It’s extremely positive to hear the experiences of current foster carers from Angus, who continue to make a clear difference to the lives of our most vulnerable children. The challenge now remains to recruit more like-minded people to our service, to support other children requiring placements. I would urge anyone thinking about this opportunity to contact our local fostering team on 01241 435078 or visit www.fosteringandadoption.gov.uk”