“I had room in my home, and most importantly in my heart, and my fostering journey began”
Lorna Asprey from Eastleigh has been a foster parent with Foster Care Associates (FCA) for a few years. Having grown up in a family that fostered Lorna always wanted to be a foster parent. However, with five birth children, Lorna had been waiting for the right time and a spare room in her home.
Lorna said: "I have always wanted to be a foster parent but with my large family I was conscious of space and being able to accommodate a child or young person. Once my children were older and self-sufficient, and I had a spare room, I knew the time was right and one day my daughter helped make me take the leap.
She had been shopping in our local Asda and noticed an FCA information stand. She brought home one of their information leaflets and encouraged me to get in touch. I made an enquiry with FCA straight away and my fostering journey began from that day.
Shortly after going to fostering panel and being approved as a foster parent with FCA, I started looking after my first long term placement. She is a teenager and has stayed with me for two years.
Having always been aware of my dream to look after children and young people in need my friends and family were supportive of my decision to foster. As a child my mum used to foster on a respite basis during the school holidays so I grew up around fostering. It was always a matter of time before I started my own fostering career".
Memorable fostering moments
Reflecting about her fostering journey looking after her current placement Lorna describes some memorable moments, as well as challenges, she has experienced as a foster parent.
She said: "I have a great relationship with my foster child as she wanted to come to a home with animals and I absolutely love animals. I have horses, cats, dogs and tortoises and I truly believe animals can be very therapeutic, my foster child loves them all. I brought her a hamster, the first pet she could call her own and this was a moment I’ll never forget.
We’ve had so many memorable moments over the past few years. Simple things like keeping her room and belongings neat and tidy, and achieving 100% school attendance have made me so proud of her and what we have achieved together.
One of the things I have found challenging though is being a single foster parent. Not having someone around 24/7 for support and to bounce around ideas and situations can be difficult. However, has encouraged me to make use of all of the support that FCA provide and has shown me that there was really nothing to worry about.
I make use of all of the support groups and sessions and attend as many FCA events as I possibly can. This way I get to chat to other carers and hear all about their experiences and ideas as foster carers and parents. I have made some great friends and there is always something new to learn.
There’s so much information and help available for parents online but I always think that the sessions and events FCA put on for foster parents are so much better on a face to face personal level particularly as a single carer.’’
My fostering journey
Lorna sums up her fostering journey as simply amazing and offers advice to new foster parents. She said: "Fostering with FCA has been everything I hoped it would be and more. I’d do it again without even a second thought.
If you’re just starting out your fostering journey then the main advice I would offer is to be really proactive and accept all help and guidance offered by FCA. Attend the fostering events in your area, chat to other foster parents and your support worker and most importantly share things. Tell other foster parents about your experiences and learn from them. You’ll have your ups and downs but the important thing to remember is that nobody is perfect.
I often find that if you hold back and don’t react to a challenging situation and rather wait until the child or young person is calm and in a better frame of mind then you’re able to really talk to them and get to the bottom of a situation much more easily.
My current placement requires my undivided attention but one day when it’s her time to move on to independent living I will continue to be a foster parent".
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