Lucy Stevens - 23rd May 2023
As we celebrate fostering communities this Foster Care Fortnight, some of the team members at Eastern Fostering Services share their views.
Sandra is one of our senior supervising social workers. She has many years’ experience supporting carers and children and she is a fierce advocate of both.
“I have been part of the Eastern Fostering Services community for nearly 7 years, as a supervising social worker. I grew up in a fostering family from the age of 6 months and my parents were LA foster carers. Fostering was very different then with no Independent Fostering Agencies and very little support for carers. Eastern Fostering Services offers amazing support and I’m sure anyone who fosters for us feels part of a close knit, supportive family…….I certainly do.”
Rachel is an important part of the Eastern Fostering Team. She works in the administration team and is responsible, amongst other things, for all the carer annual reviews. A mammoth task!
“This is what I enjoy and value most about being part of a Fostering community 😊
Finding the right family to match the children’s needs
Seeing the difference it makes to children’s lives
Teamwork – all helping each other, working towards the same goal
Enjoying seeing the children being happy
Realising the difference one person can make
Identifying ways we can help
Noticing the small changes
Giving every child a safe, stable and loving home”
Sam is one of our Supervising Social Workers. She supports many of our Essex foster carers and children and does a brilliant job.
“Because we are a small team and because of the ethos we subscribe to, the whole team is encouraged to think about the children in everything we do. We are not only encouraged but expected to bring feedback, thoughts and ideas to the group. How can we improve things for carers and children? How can we be more child focussed and think outside of the box when it comes to solutions for the obstacles carers and children may face? It’s in this way that I think Eastern Fostering Services is part of a community that really adds value to the children and the carers that we look after.”
Sarah is often referred to as the lynchpin of Eastern Fostering Services. She oversees all the adminstration associated with fostering and generally keeps the whole team functioning.
“I have been part of a fostering community for over 10 years and love it! It is wonderful to see new families embark on their fostering journey and also to admire the dedication of our experienced foster carers. It is a privilege to see the children in our care given the opportunity to thrive and be happy. I feel grateful that I am able to be a part of our fostering community.”
Yvette is another key part of the admin team, helping keep us all in good working order!
“I love being part of a team that makes a difference to children’s lives. Although I am part of the admin team (and therefore do not have direct contact with the children) I feel as though I am doing something worthwhile.”
Paul is our children and young people’s participation worker. He does some really valuable work building relationships with the children and young people, supporting them and offering both carers and children some space and time with someone who listens to them and advocates for them. Recently, Paul took one of our children to watch her favourite football team play. What he says demonstrates perfectly why our fostering community is so important:
“I took B to the football match yesterday and to say she was overjoyed was an understatement! She is naturally shy but over the last few months has blossomed and really come out of her shell.
She did ask me to thank Eastern Fostering Services for making this happen. She may not say in-person but she was so grateful and overwhelmed that she could visit her favourite team (and they won convincingly!)
This is what the Eastern Fostering Services community is all about!
But the last word has to go to one of our young people who perhaps puts it best. When asked why she likes being part of our fostering community and why it is important, she replied,
“Because it’s a vibe!”
It definitely is.