Foster carer Julia has been with The Fostering Company since 2014. Here, Julia gives an insight into her fostering journey thus far and what first inspired her to foster.
What did you do prior to foster care?
I worked in an NHS breast feeding support team helping mums establish feeding routines whether it was through one-on-one support sessions or group clinics. It meant I was always working closely with families with young children which was really useful when I made the transition to foster care.
What made you first think about fostering?
Fostering and adoption is something I’ve grown up with. My parents both fostered and adopted so it’s just something I’ve always been aware of and always had at the back of my mind.
Tell us a little bit about the children you have fostered since joining us in 2014 and do you have any children in your care currently?
In my seven years of fostering, I’ve only ever fostered boys! I’ve fostered 12 children so far including multiple sibling groups as well as a mother and baby placement that also included older siblings. I currently have an empty house but that could change any day if a child needs a placement.
What is the best thing about being a foster carer?
Seeing babies thriving in the care of their parents is amazing and being the one to give them a helping hand to reach this point is wonderful. Mother and baby placements can be really challenging and don’t always have a happy ending, so to see a biological mother blossom into her new role as a mum and confidently take her baby home to look after herself is an incredible achievement.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of becoming a foster carer?
I think you have to be realistic. Being a foster carer isn’t always plain sailing and each child brings with them their own quirks and challenges. Sometimes things don’t always work out and a placement breaks down. You have to be emotionally prepared for this and not let it set you back.
What skills have you gained since becoming a foster carer?
I’ve learnt a lot about myself such as what my strengths are and where my limits lie. I’m far more resilient than I used to be and certainly much more patient.
What three words would you use to describe your experiences of being a foster carer?
Hard, heart-breaking and rewarding.
And finally, what’s your go-to activity for a rainy day?
Anything craft-based. It’s a great way of getting the children to express their creativity and can easily take up a whole afternoon.
For information on how to become a foster carer with the Fostering Company call 0191 283 6445 or email email@example.com