We always had fostering in the back of our minds but when we became parents to three children we were not sure how that would fit into our lives. At the same time, we were still feeling this strong urge to do something to help children in our neighbourhood who for whatever reason are not receiving the love, care and support they need. We saw fostering as a way to help families and especially the children in those families whilst they access the necessary help to overcome the problems they may be experiencing.
A close friend who also has children had just been approved by Enfield Council. She spoke about the excellent support she was given throughout the assessment including the opportunity to speak to other fostering households already fostering and managing families of their own. She also explained how her children’s views about fostering were explored and taken into account too. This together with details of the ongoing support structure from the fostering service and other foster carers at Enfield gave her the confidence to take her interest forward. This in turn inspired us and made us think that the perfect moment we are waiting for may never come so just go for it. And so we did!
Starting from the very first contact with Enfield Council’s Fostering Service we have always felt supported. We were always kept in contact with and moved through the assessment stages at a pace we were comfortable with. Following our approval our dedicated supervising social worker has been an excellent source of support. There for any questions or concerns we may have and also providing us with up to date information, the sharing of best practice and any recommended training courses relevant to our placements.
This great level of support and training helped us develop very quickly the skills and confidence to meet the needs of the children in our care. So, if we come across any challenges we see these as rewarding opportunities as you work with professionals and the family to meet the child’s needs and find solutions. You get to be very close to the children, even if it’s just for a few days, so saying goodbye is always a sad time but you take comfort in knowing the incredible impact you had and your ability to provide so much more than just stability and a good support system.
We have been fostering now for a few years and cared for several foster children between the ages of 0 (newborn baby) to 10 years old. These were placements for immediate care (emergency), taking over another carer’s placement for a while (respite) and for a specific period until the child moved to a permanent home (short term). We have been really impressed by our children’s positive and accepting attitude to having a number of different children in our home. They get involved where they can, talking and playing with the foster child, so they do not feel lonely. These are wonderful moments and we feel this experience will help shape them into being the kind and caring people we want them to be.
So, we can definitely say fostering transforms lives. Not just for the foster child but for the foster carers and their families too. It would be great if we can have more foster carers in Enfield continuing to make this positive difference. We always encourage people in the borough to consider fostering. We tell them about our amazing and rewarding journey and that they will have the chance to make a real difference to the lives of children in foster care. We also let them know about the great fostering allowances, excellent 24-hour support and fantastic training opportunities. You are definitely looked after and certainly not doing this on your own.
Enfield’s children in care need you so please take the same step we did and find out more about fostering today.