First fostering placements: ice breakers
Posted by Judy on 23rd, July, 2015
It was a late Wednesday afternoon and I was down at the City College in Plymouth waiting for a young lad to come out of his studies. I had parked the car and was very nervously waiting for K to join me in the car park.
This was our first placement that we were having for two nights and I was extremely apprehensive. Although probably nothing compared to what K was feeling. My mentor friend who had been fostering for years was on the phone to me telling me to keep calm and all would be well, but I felt very nervous.
Suddenly a young lad was walking towards me and I knew that this must be him, so I waved at him and he smiled back at me. Suddenly my nerves disappeared. I introduced myself and offered him a drink which he accepted.
I realised that by this time I had been boxed in by another car and after doing what felt like a 68 point turn we managed to leave the car park. We both ended up laughing at how many turns I’d to do to get out and I felt that the ice had been broken, and I soon found out what an extremely lovely young lad K was.
He was welcomed by our two dogs when we got home and he asked if he could play with them in the garden and then take them for a walk before tea, which was great. Laughter and our two dogs had helped us both break the ice and it was a pleasure having him.
It was also wonderful that my friend had been on the phone to me keeping me calm whilst I was waiting for K, reassuring me and making me realise that it was going to be much harder for K than me. I feel that it is so important to have someone to talk to that has experience in fostering as your first placement can be quite daunting however much training you have. And through her positiveness on the phone, it made me feel more positive and not quite so anxious.
If you can laugh at yourself and different situations then this can help, along with two wonderful dogs who seem to sense every feeling that you and your looked after children are going through.