Emma and Mike's fostering story
Emma and Mike decided to join Fostering People following a recommendation from close friends who are foster parents with the agency. They liked the fact that they felt we would not just be a “number” and it had a family feel to the agency.
We enquired with Fostering People in August 2015. We were interested in Fostering as we wanted to help to give back. I also realised that my own previous life experiences could be put to good use to help children and young people.
We decided on Fostering People following a recommendation from our close friends who are foster parents with the agency. We liked the fact that we felt we would not just be a “number” and it had a family feel to the agency. Everyone at Fostering People has been approachable and friendly throughout the process.
After enquiring, a Fostering Support Worker completed a home visit to discuss fostering and the agency in more detail. This was not as daunting as we originally thought. It was informal and there was no sales pitch. We were made to feel comfortable throughout the visit. They gave us all the relevant information and then left the ball in our court to decide whether we wanted to proceed. There has never been any pressure placed on us to apply with the agency.
We then completed an application form and sent this to fostering people. Our Form F assessor was allocated to complete the fostering assessment. The Form F process was not as stressful as we thought it would be, however, this was a very intense process. This involved a lot of discussion about ourselves and our life experiences. Also, it was difficult having to check back on dates, for example, previous addresses and dates I lived there. We had to provide address details for our whole lives. You need to provide as much information as you possibly can, however, this is all for a good reason.
The Form F process gave me a different perspective of my life experiences and helped me reflect on my past. I found this to be a therapeutic process.
I was terrified about the prospect of Panel, however, my husband was excited about the panel process. Everyone in panel was welcoming, they tried really hard to make us feel as comfortable as they could but in a professional way. Our Panel went really well. When we received confirmation that we had been approved as foster parents, it was amazing! It felt like the end of one journey and the start of a new fantastic journey. After panel it felt like we were then joining the fostering people family.
Following being approved as foster parents we had a respite placement. I felt like the respite was a really good way to start fostering. This has helped us to prepare to foster with future placements. I feel empowered after attending training courses and this has helped to build my confidence. The training is delivered in a way that sinks in and stays in my mind. I am currently completing the ‘Foster Parent Induction’ which is a little extra that Fostering People provide to really help you get to grips with your role as a foster parent and to help you really understand how the agency works. Every part of the process has been very informative without being too complex or stressful.
We had a missing piece in our hearts and home that Fostering People was able to fill. We have felt supported and guided through the whole journey to becoming foster parents.
The training courses that they offer are amazing and really help to build your confidence in being able to provide the best level of care for the children that would come to you. Fostering People and everyone in it are one big family and joining this family has been one of the best decisions we have made.