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Lucy Stevens - 13th July 2021
“Eastern Fostering Services have stood toe to toe with us.”
Terri and Paul decided to transfer fostering agency over to Eastern Fostering Services in 2019. They arrived with 3 children, who they had been long-term fostering, and a birth daughter.
“We had been fostering for 10 years when we made the decision to transfer fostering agency. It was not something we did lightly but we really had no choice given the lack of support we were receiving. We feel that advocating for the children in our care is one of the most important roles of a foster carer. We felt that the agency we were with put the need to make placements above the needs of the children and they wouldn’t back us when we challenged the decisions that were being made. “Don’t rock the boat” should not be the way a good fostering provider operates.
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We were worried that we might not find the right agency. We wanted to avoid ending up at an agency with the same moral code as the one we were leaving. We wanted to make sure we connected with the people involved and that they had the children’s best interests at the heart of everything that they do.
It has all been really positive. Eastern Fostering Services have stood toe to toe with us when we have needed them and they respect our experience and knowledge. They allow us to use our own initiative and do not micro manage us. I have continued with my CPD by helping with the skills to foster course and we are encouraged to source extra training that we feel we would find beneficial.
Even more importantly, the children feel supported too. Our old agency didn’t really include our birth daughter much, they didn’t ask her how she was or what things were like for her. She is now feeling more included as our Supervising Social Worker takes her out and does fun things with her, just like the fostered children get to do with their Social Workers. She feels important and relevant.
To carers who are feeling unsupported in their agency, I would say don’t take the ‘better the devil you know’ attitude because it doesn’t get better when you’re unsupported. Our transfer went really smoothly and we really should have done it years before we did. We brought all three of our fostered children with us and we haven’t looked back.”