Mel & I, Shell, have been fortunate enough to be GLF foster carers since September 2018.
We feel extremely privileged to be GLF foster carers and to be in a position whereby we can empower and equip our most vulnerable children in our communities to live a happier life; to demonstrate how worthy they are and to provide them with the opportunity to separate their negative experiences from their true potential.
Mel and I fully believe in the acronym, CARE, and every single decision we make is centered around what CARE means to us as carers and as parents who have four children.
C stands for Compassion. Compassion for self and others. It is extremely difficult to provide compassion to others if our own self-talk is not compassionate. We live in a very fast paced society where we are constantly under so much pressure to perform, to be the very best and to be competitive. Teaching our children to be kinder to self and to others allows us to create a deeper self-worth, which is the bedrock for happiness.
A stands for affirmation. Affirmation to self and others. We find that self-affirmations help us to build our self-confidence and our ability to challenge ourselves and step out of our comfort zone. For us to secure a different result, we must take the risk to explore other behaviours and be more receptive to try new experiences. Affirming others also help us to create deeper connections with others.
R stands for Reflection. Mel and I have learnt that if we can encourage our children to create a space to pause and reflect, they take more responsibility for their desired outcomes or their decisions; they start to base their decisions that involves empathy and seeing that it is not always about the I, but the WE. Taking the time to be grateful for what you have or have achieved, as opposed to what you do not have or have not achieved makes a huge difference to how you navigate through life.
E stands for Enthusiasm. The enthusiasm to live life fully; to take an active approach to life and not to be a spectator of life. Screen time is a good indicator of whether we are participants or spectators of life. The enthusiasm to take on developmental feedback so you can self-improve; the enthusiasm to try new experiences. Having the right food, rest and life-style has a significant impact on how enthusiastic we approach life.
In summary, all the activities we engage our foster children in and the approach we take is hugely influenced by C.A.R.E.
Our foster children have all been receptive to a wide range of character, emotional intelligence and well-being bolstering interventions, such as baking cakes for a charity called Free Cakes For Kids; attending gardening sessions at Edible London; well-being days at Dalston Eastern Curve Gardens; Social Action Projects that raise money for a charity that promotes sustainable income in Pakistan; YMCA after school clubs; weekend drama classes; Communities that come together for Iftar.
Mel and I constantly search for these opportunities, especially ones that are free, as we want our foster children to see just how much there is out there. We also convey this to the natural birth parents, when appropriate.
We feel extremely fortunate that our values and approach is aligned with GLF, our incredible Supervising Social Worker, and the training and development opportunities GLF offer throughout the year.
Mel and Shelly are GLF foster carers.
Get in touch with Louise or James on 0208 347 8741 if you’d like to find out how you can become a foster carer