Rosie’s Story

Archived: Posted November 25, 2016

“If your heart’s in it, go for it!  Fostering is deeply fulfilling and rewarding.”

Rosie Garnett is a single foster carer with Foster Care Associates (FCA) who lives in Sheffield.  Following a 30 year teaching career Rosie explains why she decided to foster.  She said: “I have taught primary and Special Educational Needs (SEND) children for nearly 30 years and that’s where I think my desire to become a foster carer began.  As a teacher I felt frustrated that I was unable to give the help and support in the way I thought some children needed. IMG_3291

“I was told when I first began teaching that ‘we were teachers not social workers’. I think that it’s difficult for a child to learn if their heads are full of anxiety, fear, confusion or pain.  I was unable to foster until my family situation allowed – and an empty nest after my own children left home was the answer!

“I came across FCA years ago when I picked up an information leaflet at a fostering event held at Lincoln showground.  I kept their details for years before researching them further on the internet when I knew I was ready to foster.  My adult children, friends and family were all very supportive and always part of my conversations and thoughts right from the beginning once I decided foster caring was for me.”

Rosie explains that fostering isn’t without its challenges and that carers need to be resilient.  She said: “The different types of fostering placements I’ve welcomed into my home are long and varied but have been mostly teenagers, including parent and child, emergency, long term, short-term and respite placements.  Most people are a little surprised when I tell them I’m a foster carer and often say that they wished they could do it.  Some people say, ‘I could never do that!’

“As a single carer, the challenges are a little different for me.  I don’t have another adult in the house, so I have a robust support network of fabulous friends.  I have developed a resilience that I didn’t have before.  You learn when to step back – to win battles not necessarily wars, to have the minimum of rules but to be consistent and mean what I say (not always easy!).  You have to be very patient!  Some children present with behaviours that I personally can’t cope with e.g. personal violence but I’ve learnt this from these experiences.”

Rosie is keen to praise the support and training provided by FCA, which has helped give her the necessary skills to see her through even the most testing moments, and helped her become the best foster carer she could possibly be.  She said:  “The training I have received has been invaluable and always interesting and enlightening. Team Parenting is very valuable.  I have support from my Supervising Social Worker (who is ace!), a therapist, the school inclusion team, and the local authority social worker, all of whom attend the team meetings and with whom I am in contact when necessary.  Support and friendship from other carers is the most valuable.”

She recalls some of her fostering highlights explaining:  “It can be rewarding and tough!  A teenager can fiercely stand their ground which can feel disrespectful and rude.  They can ignore everything you say and walk headlong into trouble of one sort or another, BUT, there have been so many successful moments and now my young person has become a school mentor for other young people in similar situations.  To hear her talk about the wise advice she gives is very rewarding.  So, she was listening after all! 

“Other outstanding fostering moments include seeing one of my young person’s anxiety turn to joyful smiles on horseback, and seeing a disturbed young man put his arms around a horse’s neck, nestle in and relax.”

Rosie offers some valuable advice to new carers.  She said:  “Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses. Remember you can choose – you can say, No thanks!  Talk to and make friends with other carers who will tell you the truth.  Meet care leavers, visit the Support Groups, and make yourself known to the Carer Rep who will support you at a colleague level.  Attend coffee mornings and participate in events – don’t be an island, it’s too hard and isolating!”  

And Rosie’s advice to someone thinking about fostering?   “If your heart’s in it, go for it!  It’s deeply fulfilling and rewarding, BUT, be realistic and don’t do it for the money – there is NO pay enough to reimburse you for the fabulous sense of achievement you will experience.” 

How can we help?

Ready to start fostering a child or young person? Or just want a bit more information to help you decide whether fostering is for you? All you need to do is contact us.

Phone us

Call us on 0800 023 4561 (lines open Monday - Thurs: 9am - 7pm, Fri: 9am - 6pm)

Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we're here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors, many of whom are carers themselves, can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

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Phone us

Call us on 0800 023 4561 (lines open Monday - Thurs: 9am - 7pm, Fri: 9am - 6pm)

Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we,re here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors, many of whom are carers themselves, can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call me back

Haven't got time to chat now? Leave your details and we'll call you back at a time that suits you:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Why do we need this? So we can email you a brochure.
  • Why do we need this? We appreciate that starting to foster is a big decision that needs careful consideration and you are likely to have questions. We’d like to help answer those questions.
  • Please enter your postcode to see news and events in you area
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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