When I was in my late 20’s I became a respite foster care for Social Services. I looked after a young child every second weekend in order to give their family a regular break and provide the child with different opportunities. I won’t talk about this in any detail as obviously the nature of the work make the details both private and confidential.
I was a respite carer for about 2 years as a single person. I had a small house but a big heart and I was happy to be involved. I stopped when I met my partner and my weekends got busier!
I really found the whole experience fun, very interesting, challenging and rewarding and I think it was a big help for the family too. There are many different ways to be a foster carer though. You could offer emergency placements, respite, and short or long term care. You could take in babies or even a teenager. You could perhaps even take in more than one child or a sibling group. You can foster if you are older, young, in a couple, single, and of any sexual orientation. You just have to pass the assessment which is always a thorough process/.
You don’t have to work for the local authority either as independent established agencies such as Capstone Fostering exist across the UK They all have the same mission which is to provide safe and nurturing foster homes to children and young people who are in foster care.
In my experience children who experience good quality foster care experience really can move forward positively form the difficult circumstances of their past. Re-parenting is a really important concept in foster care. For a child to experience the security and shelter, warmth and support and nurture that all children need is always healing.
Is this something you would consider doing? There is always a need for more foster carers.