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    If you would like to register your interest in fostering, please complete the form below. We will get back to you shortly to discuss next steps.

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      Transfer to EFS

      Existing foster carers sometimes approach us because they want to transfer from their existing fostering provider. If you are not happy with the service you are currently receiving and would like to know more about transferring fostering provider, complete the form below and we will get back to you.

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        Contact us

        If you have questions about fostering, please complete the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

        We will contact you, using your preferred contact details, as soon as possible.

        Musings of a foster carer – The early days of fostering.

        Extensive training and development
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        Lisa McBride - 12th August 2022

        I’ve been a foster carer for some years now. Recently, I welcomed a new child into my home. Every time a new child arrives, it takes me right back to the very first time I fostered.

        A path well laid.

        I feel that I’d been really well prepared for fostering during my assessment with Eastern Fostering Services. I spent a lot of time with my assessor talking about the realities of fostering, what I could expect, what the challenges might be. I’d seen anonymised referrals and had the chance to understand the impact of loss and trauma on children, their development and their behaviour.

        I’d gone to the skills to foster training which had opened my eyes to the realities of life for a child in foster care. How many people are involved in their lives and what that must feel like. I met other foster carers who shared their experiences, knowledge and a few words of wisdom! So yes, I felt I was well-prepared. Maybe if I’m honest, there was a part of me that thought I knew it all.

        Reality bites

        Spoiler alert! I didn’t know the half of it! 😉

        I was nervous and also excited when my first child was placed. The same emotions I still feel with the arrival of any new child. But the truth was, things were about to get real. You really don’t know what it’s like to foster until you start to foster. Until you are caring for a child who is not your own and who has been through so much.

        There is always a carrot and a stick with fostering. The carrot is the fairy tale element which is always on your mind, part of your motivation to some extent. That the child will settle, form a strong attachment to you (and vice versa), make good progress. That they will be happy.

        You have to be prepared for the stick though. The feeling of being out of your depth, that you’re failing, that maybe you are just not cutting it. That the child hates you. Imposter syndrome on a very personal level.

        The fostering wobbles

        So, the early days of fostering for me were mostly characterised by the stick. It just felt like such a massive task. I was worried about the responsibility I felt and I was overwhelmed by the need to get it all right. I did wonder if I’d made a mistake.

        My Supervising Social Worker rightly saw that I needed encouragement and support. She could see that I was trying to manage this huge change in my life and that I was putting myself under a massive amount of pressure. We had regular supervisions and she encouraged me during these sessions. We spoke on the phone regularly as I sought reassurance. She never once told me that any approach I took was wrong. She helped me to see that there is no right or wrong in general terms but instead guided me towards flexibility based on the personality and needs of the child. She showed me what the child might be trying to say when she smashed up her new toys, or pointed out how that heavy blanket and cuddle had really calmed her. She allowed me to see what worked and what didn’t for that individual child. To stand back and watch. To take my time.

        The weekly recordings were (and still are) really helpful to me as they allowed me to reflect. When I was writing everything down, I could see more clearly what the child might have been thinking, feeling or trying to say to me. I could look at my own reactions with a constructive eye. With time, I got to know the child so well. The stick came out a lot less and I got more days enjoying the carrot.

        A message to all new foster carers

        There have been many personal wobbles over the years. Wonderful experiences. Difficult times. Doubts. Fears. Worries. BUT I want to encourage all you new foster carers. You are enough! It’s a big deal when you start fostering. HUGE! Speak with your Supervsising Social Worker, make use of their knowledge and skills. Take your time. Relax. Put away the stick now and then. Look for the carrot. You’ll see it eventually.

        Apply to foster
        Transfer to us
        Contact us

          Register your interest

          If you would like to register your interest in fostering, please complete the form below. We will get back to you shortly to discuss next steps.

          Have you applied to foster before?

          YesNo

          Do you have a spare room?

          YesNo

          We will contact you, using your preferred contact details, as soon as possible.

          Make a report to one of CEOP's Child Protection Advisors. If you are worried about online abuse or the way someone has been communicating online, let CEOP know

            Transfer to EFS

            Existing foster carers sometimes approach us because they want to transfer from their existing fostering provider. If you are not happy with the service you are currently receiving and would like to know more about transferring fostering provider, complete the form below and we will get back to you.

            Do you have a child in placement?

            YesNo

            We will contact you, using your preferred contact details, as soon as possible.

            Make a report to one of CEOP's Child Protection Advisors. If you are worried about online abuse or the way someone has been communicating online, let CEOP know

              Contact us

              If you have questions about fostering, please complete the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

              We will contact you, using your preferred contact details, as soon as possible.

              Make a report to one of CEOP's Child Protection Advisors. If you are worried about online abuse or the way someone has been communicating online, let CEOP know
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