My name is Novelette and I’ve been a foster carer for GLF for two years.
My first placement started in May 2017 with a 12 year old boy who still lives with my two daughters. He initially came to us for 6 months but as time went on the local authority decided it was a good match and a suitable home for him.
Deciding to become a foster carer was an easy decision because of my passion to mentor and give back to the community. I literally had no experience but I also have two birth children so I am able to use those transferable skills of being a mum to help make a difference in another child’s life. My Aunt (who I lived with for a while) was also a foster carer for many years after being a retired nurse, so I was aware of the process and what was involved. I was also ready to welcome and accept foster children into my home.
The assessment process was quite intrusive but it had brought back many pleasant memories from my childhood days to the time I became being an adult. The process consisted of lots of talking about myself, which led to various discussions about who I was then to who I am now. During this assessment you also get to drink lots of tea with biscuits, cakes or fruits so no need to panic it’s a wonderful experience! The first few weeks of the assessment you will also be invited to attend training, giving you the necessary skills to foster. This also gives you the opportunity to meet other new foster carers, exchange numbers and build a support network.
to be quite frank fostering has strengthened my faith that even in to-days very cynical world love is still the most important thing we can share
The key point of being a foster carer is being kind, caring and understanding as these qualities often bring out the best in the child and also open up lines of communication and interaction.
Fostering involves the whole family so it will have great impact on everyone at home. My daughters were excited to have a new addition to the family member. They were also willing to share their mum and quality time as well as coping with behaviours and needs. Not every day is the same – there are ups and downs. But to be quite frank fostering has strengthened my faith that even in to-days very cynical world love is still the most important thing we can share.
I strongly believe in shaping the child’s life into becoming a productive and successful person after leaving school
I am pleased with GLF’s full support. There are lots of opportunities for training and development. My supervising social worker is just a call away for any query I may have. Even though I am also in full time employment with the NHS, I am able to carry out my care duties effectively and attend regular meetings and any additional training required. I strongly believe in shaping the child’s life into becoming a productive and successful person after leaving school, so I play an active role in his education and communicate with the school and teachers on a regular basis. I would also encourage arranging extra tuition where necessary and to be actively involved in activities to help build on his skills and experiences.
My young person recently took part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme which involved volunteering as a youth worker at the playground adventure. These activities were fitted in around his studies. His recent Army Cadet role has also motivated him to work independently, meeting targets and deadlines.
Fostering is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs you can do
I would also encourage my young person to write letters and update his photo album and show these to mum and siblings at contacts. I genuinely support positive relationship with birth family so that my young person can have a good understanding of his culture and family history.
My advice to those who would like to become a foster carer – Fostering is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs you can do and no qualification is required. There are lots of supports in place for foster carers from both your fostering service and your support network.
It’s highlighted for me how much giving my time – which is a precious commodity for anyone to give – and emotionally investing in another person can matter and make such a difference to his/her life. In doing so you are providing a safe, warm, loving environment for someone who needs such support in order to feel that they belong somewhere, enhance their strengths, develop their potential and become the best person they can be.
Novelette is a GLF Foster Carer
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