Our Fostering Community: Meet Eastern Fostering Services’ Fostering Panel Member, Tricia.
Lucy Stevens - 6th April 2023
This week, we hear from Tricia who is a long-standing member of our Fostering Panel. She brings to panel a wealth of experience working with children and foster carers. Her personality and sensitive approach help all fostering applicants feel relaxed and comfortable when they appear at the Eastern Fostering Services Panel. We asked Tricia to give us some insight into how panel works and what people can expect when they appear at fostering panel. What is the fostering panel? I have been a member of the Eastern Fostering Services’ panel for over ten years. The purpose of the panel is two-fold, to read the application documents of the people who are applying to become new foster carers for Eastern Fostering
One Big Family: The story of Angela and Mark*
Josh Brightmore - 28th March 2023
In previous discussions with Angela and Mark we’ve explored how Eastern Fostering Services supported them through their initial journey to become foster parents, but, in my latest chat with them we looked at how they fared after all of the initial excitement of their first match with their first foster child. Angela and Mark have been foster carers for Eastern Fostering Services for a number of years now. Those years have been full of wonder and challenge, but throughout it all, the “family” that they describe to me (made up of Eastern Fostering Services staff and other Eastern Fostering Services foster carers) has helped them navigate through it all. “The first thing that comes to mind is the training they
What is it like to be part of a family who fosters? – TJ’s story.
T J - 25th March 2023
I’m TJ. I was 7 years old when my family and I started fostering. It’s mad to think that that was over 7 years ago. A lot has happened in that time! It takes some getting used to at first. When we first started fostering, everything was new. I had to get used to having another person in the house when it had always just been Mum, Dad and my brother. When my foster brother arrived, he needed a lot of help and support and so I suppose we had to share my parents much more. I never really minded this because I always knew that Mum and Dad had enough time and love to go round. Most of the
Is fostering a viable alternative to adoption?
Lucy Stevens - 6th March 2023
We know at the moment that many Local Authorities are reducing their intake of adopters. But is fostering a potential alternative to those who may have their hearts set on adoption? What are the benefits of fostering with Eastern Fostering Services? Ongoing support One of the biggest advantages to fostering is the ongoing support that you will receive. When you foster a child through Eastern Fostering Services, you will receive regular supervision with your Supervising Social Worker. This is an opportunity to discuss any challenges and share ideas for how to tackle them. Your supervising social worker is also there to advocate for you and your child. This can be in relation to education, health and emotional needs and unlocking
Fostering: A child’s view – K-L’s story
Josh Brightmore - 23rd February 2023
Firstly, I am not K-L. She is not quite ready to tell her own story, it still has the power to destroy with each retelling. What I share with you now, I do so with her blessing but it is unlikely she will cast an eye on it. Yet. Sometimes as a foster carer you consider how different the lives of children could be if we lived in a more equal, fairer society. If families weren’t living in poverty, had equal educational opportunities and access to better support services. At other times it’s all too clear that there are families who actively harm their own children and this is an even more bitter pill to swallow. K-L is one such
Fostering: A child’s view – M’s story
Lucy Stevens - 17th February 2023
When I was 17, I thought I knew it all. I’d had a rough childhood and when I was a teenager I got in with a gang. I did drugs and did some drug running up and down the country. There was something comforting in that life, being on the edge, always a step away from violence. It was what I knew but it was also something I belonged to, something I didn’t have with my own family. Their rejection still hurt, and I would take the drugs to cope and to just numb everything. My boyfriend was also a gang member and had a list of offences as long as your arm. We were both pretty well-known to the
The Panel: The story of Angela and Mark*
Josh Brightmore - 3rd February 2023
“It’s only now that they’ve gone that we’re re-discovering all these little notes from them. It’s so heart-warming”. Talking to Angela and Mark about their first foster-child – Alex* – I’m struck by the warmth they still have for them, and while it wasn’t always a bed of roses, they both seem to be incredibly enriched by the experience – both the good and the bad. I had expected Angela and Mark to tell me that the process of finally being approved as foster carers – by a panel including a previously fostered person, foster carers, local authority staff and staff from Eastern Fostering Services – was at least a little bit nerve-wracking. But Angela assures me that this wasn’t
Fostering: A child’s view – L’s story
James Roderick - 27th January 2023
I’m L and I’m 15. I’ve been in foster care since I was 8. I moved around quite a bit, mostly cos the foster carers I had didn’t feel they could keep me safe. Whatever that means. When I was 13 I found out that my mum was pregnant. I worried about what would happen to the baby. My brother. I wondered if he would have nice carers who would look after him. Would I be able to see him? Or would he be adopted? All these thoughts were just going round and round in my head. Then one day my social worker took me to McDonalds. That usually means bad news, like I need to move again or some
Fostering: A child’s view – H’s story
Lucy Stevens - 20th January 2023
Here’s the thing about me. I need to know what’s happening. I don’t like change; I don’t like SPONTANEITY. I like to know what I’m doing and when. If things suddenly change or if something happens that I’m not expecting, it makes me feel really really scared. I don’t like people touching me or getting in my space. When they do it makes me want to break free. I don’t like it when people lie to me or talk in riddles. Just say the truth and explain it properly. I love reading. I’m not interested in my phone or games, TikTok or Snapchat. I just love to read. My foster carer, Sue, says that is why I know so much.
Fostering: a child’s view – B’s story
Lucy Stevens - 13th January 2023
I’m B and I’m 12. When I lived with my mum, I worried about her a lot and I started to get really scared about leaving her. I would miss school so I could always be there just in case. Things got pretty bad and my mum just stayed in bed all day and drank quite a bit at night. She would get really angry and cry a lot and one day she ended up taking a load of pills and saying she wanted to die. I had to look after her and my little sister. It felt good to be needed but I was also really angry. Like I was either feeling sick from worrying or sick from being