South Glos Foster Carer, Sandra, recently hit a massive milestone with a decade of fostering under her belt. We caught up with her to hear her story to honour the impact she’s had in children’s lives over the years.

Laughing girl with daisy in her hairs, showing thumbs up.
Why did you get into foster care?

“I had been interested in becoming a Foster Carer for sometime, I wanted to support young children and so I reached out to the Fostering Placement Team, because my own children were now late teenagers, and I wanted to continue to nurture young children to. I had a significant loss in my life and after that time, I decided I wanted to take this path and focus fully on Share the Care Fostering Support/Respite.”

What did life look life before you became a foster carer?

“Before becoming a foster carer, life was working in a Support Care role two days a week, a Data Officer role three days a week, and managing family and home the rest of the time.”

How has fostering changed over the ten years you’ve been a foster carer?

“I have found that access to information regarding fostering and your role as a foster carer and training courses, has become so wonderfully accessible, both face to face and as online training, to complete statutory/bonus courses of your choosing relevant to your foster carer role. 

“Also, support has continued to be very accessible from the Fostering Placement team and Supervisors. There is a strong person-centred approach putting each child’s needs first.  I find that the core of being a foster carer remains the same after 10 years of fostering, and that is to care for, support and protect the children.”

How many children have you fostered?

“I have fostered fourteen children all very different and lovely individuals, that I have enjoyed caring for all with different time frames of placement with me. I am currently waiting a new placement.”

Describe a typical day as a foster carer

“A typical day would be to support the children to see that they are bathed and dressed appropriately for the day.  To give them breakfast and make sure they are well and happy.  We would discuss what activities they may like to do for the day and what that might entail.  I like to take them to the park so they can play explore, and support them with a hobby like arts and crafts or for example attending martial arts.”

I do not regret a moment of my decision for the past ten years to become a foster carer, and I have found it very rewarding and fulfilling being there for the children, at a time in their lives that must have been at the very least, quite a traumatic time.

What are the most rewarding aspects of fostering?

“Being able to support and nurture children at a time in their lives that can prove to be most stressful and cause them anxiety, is what keeps me going to help them.  Those moments they are filled with joy and happiness, and me giving quality time is what I love the most.”

What’s the most challenging aspects of fostering and how do you manage them?

“Children that experience trauma that need reassurance and present with challenging behaviours are managed by giving them my patience, my ear, understanding and a safe space, that in time will help them to understand and manage those childhood traumas.”

Would you recommend fostering and if so, why?

“Fostering can be challenging at times, but I feel overall it is one of the most rewarding jobs someone can do.  To help a child that has had a difficult start in life to have a safe, supported and nurtured new beginning is well, quite frankly worth it.”

What advice would you give a new foster carer or someone thinking about fostering?

“To reach out to the Fostering Placement Team and consider the pros and cons of what will be required of you as a Foster Carer, and if you still feel that pull to care for a child that no doubt will need your support and care, then go for it.”

What makes a good foster carer?

“A good foster carer is a person with a caring and nurturing nature, with patience and understanding and someone who would like to protect and care for children.  To be able to embrace challenges and provide help to overcome them to.”

Describe your most memorable moment in fostering.

“Watching a particular child grow over the years that started out with high levels of anxiety and stress, to overcome this to a level that is now manageable and has given them a better quality of life.”

If you want to know more about what’s involved in fostering, fill in our get in touch form below, or call us on 01454 866423.

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