Julie and Phil
“We were going to foster many years ago but chose to do it now as we felt we had a lot to offer and many years left to offer it. The house is free, empty and it needed a family” Julie says. Julie and Phil’s children are adults and now form part of their support network.
Julie and Phil have been fostering for a year which has seen them care for two parent and child placements, a sibling group of 3 on and an 11 year old boy on respite. Julie and Phil have found their experiences very different from each other and they have had their challenges, but continue to enjoy fostering.
The challenges have been managing adults who lived with them as part of the parent and child placement. Julie says ‘everybody should try and experience parent and child placements. The rewards of moving children on with their parents are very worthwhile”.
Parent and child placements are very different from normal fostering and Julie found her role involved a lot of monitoring, advice and support to the parents. Julie describes parent and child placements as “emotionally demanding and it can be hard having another adult in the house”.
Alongside Julie’s parent and child placements, she has also undertaken respite, looking after foster children, while their carers have a short break. Julie has thoroughly enjoyed this, but as Julie describes “it’s very important to maintain the routines that the child is used to and respecting how other carers are parenting, even if this isn’t reflective of how you would do it. Respite can be beneficial as professional can get a wider view of children’s needs”.
Julie and Phil’s fostering highlight to date is visiting the father and child placement, once they had move on to living independently together and seeing positive influences they have had in how the father cared for his son.
Julie says “I wish we starting fostering years ago! Fostering People offer good training and the team are professional and friendly”.