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        Fostering – a journey like no other!

        Extensive training and development
        Fostering allowance from £395 p/w
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        A friendly and highly experienced team

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        Lucy Stevens - 7th March 2024

        “Fostering has changed our life for the better, we have our own family unit, and are part of something bigger.”

        This week, Georgia EFS Foster Carer Ambassador shares her fostering journey which took her from young coupledom to becoming a family of 5.

        First steps into fostering

        We began looking into fostering when we purchased our house together in 2018 as we knew we wanted to help children who needed us. Having spoken about it with friends and family, and having no birth children, we had the space to be able to make the difference. We had previously been to events put on by the local authority but hadn’t been really inspired. We welcomed El and Lucy from Eastern Fostering Services to our house and instantly made a positive connection! We liked their family ethos, that it was local and that we could be part of something where everyone knows everyone. It’s a community of professionals. 

        The fostering assessment

        The assessment process was very detailed but positive nonetheless. We felt it allowed us to talk about our lives and our positive and negative experiences that make us who we are! It was good to speak openly and honestly and also to ask friends and family for their views and opinions on us as people. We were able to use our past experiences in life to understand how they could be used to foster and support children. Panel was a collective group of professionals who asked questions, I felt like it was a job interview for the apprentice! We knew that they had already read the form F so they knew us on paper, but it was nice to be able to talk openly and freely and answer questions about us and our life. Believe it or not, it was actually a calm and relaxing experience in the end! Everyone was open, welcoming and friendly and we felt that we all had the same goal- to foster children and to foster them well. 

        Welcoming our first children!

        We went into fostering with an open mind in terms of the different types of fostering, and also around ages of children as we knew that we would be supported with the matching process. We were approved in August 2019, and after a few referrals we were asked to have two girls, let’s call them C and J. On 5th September we welcomed them into our home and our hearts. 

        We were very nervous and could see they were as well as it was new to us, but also to them. We were able to get to know them and give them a safe home, stability, trust and the option to be themselves and grow into amazing young ladies. 

        For the first few months we gave them opportunities such as learning to swim, clubs and holidays as we knew if it was decided they were going back to birth family at least they could take some positive experiences from us. We also worked to promote contact with their birth family including their siblings which could be challenging. Eventually, it was decided that they would stay with us long term, which felt right for them and also for us. 

        We then got to experience lock down which we actually really enjoyed – we all stayed in together, did Joe Wicks, crafts, school work, long walks, and lots of games nights on zoom! 

        We also offered respite care, in addition to our two girls, to a 5-day old baby and another teenager, and also young brothers, which the girls really enjoyed being a part of. 

        The journey goes on!

        We then were asked to have the girls’ younger sibling J. We asked the girls what they thought, but their smiles said it all! The reality of having a younger sibling I think was a shock to the system for all of us but now we are settled as a family unit of five and for now it’s us against the world! 

         Fostering has been an experience that I love. Every day is crazy busy, and parenting is hard work! It’s been everything and more and although some days are hard work it’s totally worth it to see the children and how far they have come. I have learnt that all behaviour is a form of communication, and it is so important to feel attuned to the children and their needs. I have also inspired my family – my mum is now a respite carer, and my sister is our support network, as well as my husband’s aunty which helps when we need some time to recharge, as the children can go to people who they know and love.

        Fostering has changed our life for the better, we have our own family unit, and are part of something bigger. We enjoy being able to help and support the children we care for and also other foster carers.  We have learnt to be patient, understanding and to expect the unexpected! 

        The proof of the pudding

        I think without having the opportunity to see a typical family life and without having experienced boundaries and stability and someone being on their team, the children’s lives would have got worse. Seeing the trauma and what they have been through already is heartbreaking and knowing that as soon as they enter your front door, they are safe and that they no longer have to be defined by their past is a massive relief for them and for us. The progress these children have made with the right care, support and the expertise of the professionals is incredible. 

        Challenges and rewards

        Probably the most challenging thing about fostering is maintaining their family relationships through contact or “family time”. It can be hard as sometimes, it can have a negative impact on the well-being of the children, and you have to be attentive to that whilst promoting the identity of the children. But there is always support with Eastern Fostering Services around the child and putting their needs first. 

        In terms of the rewards, I find the little things rewarding like when you get a message from one of the children about something they did well, and you are able to share how proud you are of them. I like that they want to spend time with you and just seeing them happy is the biggest reward. 

        Outstanding support

        Eastern Fostering Services has been incredible. From the start to now we have had a constant Social Worker, a constant team in place for my family for help and support day and night. EFS advocate not only for us as foster carers but also the children and have strong bonds with my three. 

        Could YOU foster?

        Kindness, patience, and being able to listen to the child are the three greatest qualities you can have as a foster carer. Being able to give them your time, encouragement, understanding and empathy. 

        If you think you could offer these qualities to a child and are considering fostering, I would say go for it! There are so many children who need good, loving, and stable homes. 

        There are also so many options with fostering: short term, long term, respite, siblings, teens, parent and child. Eastern Fostering Services offer meticulous matching and will ensure that your fostering journey works for you and also the child. 

        So, if you are thinking of starting your fostering journey, I would say speak to those in the know: ask honest questions, don’t be afraid to speak up or have limits on what you can offer. Be truthful, open and honest. Get ready for a rollercoaster ride that will make a huge difference to children and allows you to be a part of their journey too. 

        If you’d like to speak to Georgia or one of our other ambassadors, you can call us on 01206 299775, email us at, message us via Facebook or contact us via our website. We’ll put you in touch!

        Eastern Fostering Services - The small agency with a strong family feel

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