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"It’s special to be able to make such a difference to people’s lives, we love what we do."

FCA’s Time to Shine winner, Melanie Plant, 44 , based in Shropshire, shares how specialising in parent and child placement fostering has changed her life.

September 27 2021 - 5 min read

Seven years ago, Melanie and her husband Chris made the decision to start their fostering journey with FCA.

She explains; “After making the big decision to go into fostering, we decided to foster children and young people between the ages of 0-18 years, but then we ended up undergoing the training for parent and child fostering and we have been doing that ever since.”

Melanie’s role as a foster parent is to help develop the parent(s) full potential to achieve a level of parenting to enable them to move on with their children. This involves identifying support needs through assessment and then effectively implementing strategies that meet those learning needs.

During her fostering journey so far, along with her husband Chris, Melanie has had many different experiences which has enabled her to grow as a foster parent.

However, one experience stands out above the rest, as Melanie explains; “We had a pregnant mother and toddler staying with us. The mother was heavily pregnant and late one evening, it was clear that she was about to go into labour, so we packed up and were about to head towards the hospital when the mother’s water’s broke and the baby started to arrive sooner than expected.”

She continues; “We set the mother up in our bathroom and I ended up helping her deliver the baby. Unfortunately, when the baby was born, the baby was very blue and unresponsive, so I was talked through CPR by the ambulance operator on the phone in order to keep her alive until the paramedics arrived to help.”

The experience was understandably traumatic for everyone involved, but Melanie remained calm, collected and reassuring throughout, she added: “There was no real time to think – we just had to do! The mother was calm while we waited 10 minutes for the ambulances to arrive, where they were able to give her oxygen. Thankfully, mother and baby were fine and are now doing really well - everyone is healthy and happy!”

FCA were pleased to present Melanie and Chris with FCA’s Time to Shine Foster parent winners award for June 2021 following their amazing support during the birth of the child.

Time to Shine was established to recognise staff and foster parents at FCA who surpass expectations and go above and beyond.

Melanie has had many other memorable moments throughout her journey; “We also fostered a young boy who has since been adopted and is now with a really lovely family. It’s amazing that we got to help him along his path to adoption and see him develop into a happy young boy.”

Melanie believes that parent-child fostering has transformed the couple’s lives, as they really enjoy working with young families; “It’s always different, no day is the same! It’s special to be able to make such a difference to people’s lives, we love what we do.”

For Melanie, the most rewarding part of fostering is seeing placements in their care move onto the next stage in their lives; “Whether it is independence as a young family or transferring into adoption – whatever the next stage is, it is just so special and rewarding to see that transition. It makes everything worth it.”

For those who are considering becoming parent-child fostering specialists, Melanie’s best advice is the following; “You have to be very flexible, open minded and willing to share your home and lives with someone. It is a very special vocation!”

Why choose FCA

Thinking about starting your fostering journey?

24/7 local support, excellent ongoing training and competitive allowances are just a few of the reasons why you should choose FCA for your fostering journey.

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