Fostering unaccompanied young people – Ahmed’s story
Veronica Jones - 18th November 2022
The film that Eastern Fostering Services are featuring this week "Fostering unaccompanied young people" was aired on Look East earlier this year. It tells the story of a young man who was just 14 when he arrived in the UK and was moved to one of our foster carers. We asked our carer to tell us what it was like to foster him and how he is doing today. https://youtu.be/2vVEKaGj7To It was quite late in the evening when our foster son arrived on our doorstep. He was our first foster child and I remember feeling apprehensive. My two young children were in bed, settled. Tomorrow they would wake to a family of 5. It was a night of great unknowns.
John Lewis shines a Christmas light on fostering – could you?
Lucy Stevens - 11th November 2022
John Lewis and Christmas advertising have become synonymous over recent years. This year, for the first time, they have produced an advert which puts fostering firmly at its centre. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z0jfP2gCIs The advert shows one man’s desperate attempt to master skateboarding, encouraged through the bumps and scrapes by his partner. At the end of the advertisement, we understand why as a teenager is brought to the fostering household by her social worker. We’re really thrilled to see that fostering has come under the spotlight, that John Lewis has recognised the most vulnerable group in our society. But in addition to this they have highlighted the vulnerability that foster carers allow themselves in their approach to caring for each child as an
Empty nest? Could now be the right time to foster?
Lucy Stevens - 4th November 2022
People start fostering at all stages of life. Some people with their own children start to foster when their children are still relatively young. Others foster once their children have grown up and left home. The impact of the empty nest. The impact on parents of children growing up and leaving the family home is often overlooked. For some people this represents freedom and an opportunity to do those things that have been gathering dust on the bucket list. Some will really struggle and will feel a need to fill the silence with something meaningful. Either way, if fostering is something you have thought about and you now have the space and time to devote to it, it could be
Fostering: The importance of the spare room
Lucy Stevens - 14th October 2022
Many people considering fostering want to know what the basic requirements are. Of course, to be a foster carer, you’ll need a number of qualities and skills in your arsenal. In truth, there is very little that can stop you applying to foster, and we welcome applications from people from all backgrounds with all manner of relevant experience and transferrable skills. On the practical side however, there is one basic requirement which everyone applying to foster needs to meet and that is that they need to have a spare room permanently available for fostering. Why do I need to have a spare room to foster? People often ask why they need a spare room in order to foster. Some see
Musings of a Foster Carer – Fostering Sibling Groups
Joanne Patterson - 7th October 2022
There was a time when I had three birth children under 5. Once they grew up and we started fostering, we thought we’d use this experience to foster siblings who might otherwise be separated. We felt strongly that coming into foster care is traumatic for children, being separated from your parents and everything familiar to you. Being split from your brothers and sisters would be another level of loss and trauma. So we decided to try and help siblings stay together. In many cases, it is in the childrens’ interests to remain together but this can prove very tricky for Local Authorities during a time of a shortage of foster carers and highest ever numbers of children coming into care.
Musings of a foster carer – Fostering teens
Janet Wright - 30th September 2022
No doubt about it, teenagers get a bad rap. I’m one of those rare, but I know much needed, foster carers who only foster teens. Why? I hear you gasp. I love babies and younger children, but there’s something about teens that I find so rewarding. Sure, it can be hard to keep up to speed with their world: social media, language, trends. Keeping them safe is so much harder than it used to be. BUT Teenagers are interesting. They may not always be interested in interesting things (in my view), but as human beings, they have so much to offer. Undoubtedly, over the last few years, the teens we see come into foster care are more complex. The reasons
Musings of a foster carer – Food for thought.
Josh Brightmore - 16th September 2022
Food is a big deal in fostering. So big, you’d need a few blogs to do it justice. I’ve seen a lot over the last few years since starting fostering. There are so many ways that childhood adverse experiences can impact food, eating habits and behaviour around food. We once fostered two brothers, who had suffered severe neglect. The first evening they were with us, we sat at the table to eat. I brought out something I thought would be a safe bet, not knowing what their favourite foods were. It became obvious immediately that they had not been taught how to use a knife and fork and had probably never sat at a table to eat. Carnage doesn’t come
Musings of a foster carer – Holidays
Jean Wilson - 9th September 2022
We all look forward to a holiday! Holiday is a time when you’re happy, the whole family is in a good mood and you are able to relax and get lost in the novelty of a foreign country, its language, its food, its pace of life. The first time we took our foster child away on holiday with us, we assumed that the same rules would apply: everyday life would be left behind and we would all be refreshed by a much needed holiday. And it was refreshing. And it was a happy time. But it was soon apparent that we were not going to be able to leave our metaphorical baggage behind. The challenges of fostering followed us across
The Road to Panel: “Nobody has the perfect background”
James Roderick - 19th August 2022
When I last met with Angela and Mark they had just begun fostering their second child and they’re expecting to become grandparents (again) any day now. Their first fostering placement lasted many years, but, when we spoke, they took me back to the process of being approved as foster carers over eight years ago. “It took us two years from our first assessment to being approved as foster carers,” Mark explains, “but that was because at that time in our lives we had so much going on that we wanted to take it slow”. They were supported by Eastern Fostering Services in going at a speed that was right for them: “after all, it’s important for the child that the
Musings of a foster carer – Waiting for the child to arrive
Katie Walton - 12th August 2022
The bed is made, clean, fresh, corners tucked in. The bedroom dusted to within an inch of its life. The fridge is able to cater for a range of tastes. I’ve even managed to make cookies which are in the oven as we speak. For me, nothing says welcome more clearly than the smell of baking. I look at the clock. They are late. Nothing unusual as that. I fidget and find things to do with my restless hands. The clock hand moves so slowly. It always does. But here’s the thing, no matter how many children you have fostered, how many clocks you have watched, it is always unnerving waiting for a new child to arrive. The fostering rollercoaster