Sharing their fostering journey to help inspire others to think about fostering, meet foster parents Steven and Kevin.
Here is their story…
“We considered and talked about fostering for around 15 years, however the time never felt right. But after we moved to the country and settled into village life where there is a great community and lots of outdoor activities it felt this was the perfect place for a young person to grow and develop”.
Kevin is a former looked after child from the age of 1 until he was 21. His long-term foster parents and family had such a massive positive impact on Kevin and Steven too. Kevin maintains contact with his foster family although, sadly Kevin’s foster dad died a few years ago and this year his foster mum also passed away. Shortly after Steven and Kevin decided the time was right to embark on becoming foster carers too.
“We chose FCA as Kevin’s foster Mum worked as a foster parent with FCA for many years. We had good knowledge of the organisation and its values”. The couple spoke with family, Kevin’s foster family and his biological family and also close friends. “Everyone was really supportive and said we would be great parents and had a lot to offer foster children”.
“We were delighted when we were approved to be foster carers in April 2019 and since June 2019 have a five your old boy with non-verbal autism living with us”.
“Everyone is great within FCA, we have a great Supervising Social Worker who visits regularly and is always at the end of the phone for any support or guidance. FCA offer great online advice and carer support groups where we can meet with other foster carers in the local area. This is where we can share ideas that have worked well and problem solve together as a group which is led by the Supervising Social Worker. We have found that there is always someone you can contact to discuss or find out anything that FCA offer or gain additional advice”.
“We are loving fostering, it is great to see a young person with additional needs and requirements develop and grow in such a short space of time, our five year old child had no structure or routine in his life before which we quickly put into place, he is now initiating lots of his routine and structure and developing weekly”.
Best fostering moment
“Our best fostering moment has been when our young person initiates parts of his routine and structure. Being non-verbal it is really important for him to know we are here for him and to reassure him. He shows us how he is feeling and initiates when he wants to eat by leading us to the kitchen and sitting at the table, when he wants his bath he is leading us to the bathroom and when he wants to go to bed he reaches out to one of us to sit with him in his room until he falls asleep. He has also picked up basic Makaton signs which he understands and we are slowly adding more signs so he knows we can and will communicate in a way he can understand too”.
“Our advice to new foster carers is to go to the support groups as these are vital to share experiences and gain different approaches to fostering, and don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to FCA to ask for advice and guidance”
“Just do it, fostering is the best experience we have ever had and it’s so nice when you see that young person grow and develop within their time with you”.
“It is the most rewarding thing you can do in your lifetime so if you want to do it, go for it”
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