My decision to foster stems from when I worked with homeless teenagers. I developed a passion to encourage and help young people using a hands-on approach.
A friend invited me to a fostering open day and I enjoyed the session - The atmosphere was welcoming and the staff were fantastic. It gave me a greater understanding of the role and the expectations of foster carers, so I put my name forward to be assessed.
I chose to foster with Manchester City Council because I’d previously worked for them for 26 years so I knew they were an empowering employer and offered great training and support.
I’m enjoying my role and have had tremendous training opportunities and support. The course that has given me the most insight into the children is ‘The social and emotional world of Looked After Children: Managing negative behaviour.’ It’s enabled me to turn the child’s negative behaviour around successfully by either ignoring, distracting or redirecting with lots of cheerleading.
I feel like I’m never alone because of the ongoing training, home visits, respite care, supervisions, ongoing reassessment of the child's needs, financial support and around-the-clock phone support.
My experience of working with a child with additional needs is challenging; emotionally draining at times, but the rewards far outweigh the challenges. I try to make the child feel loved and accepted whilst supporting him to learn new skills. When I see positive changes in the child, I feel a sense of fulfilment and am encouraged to persevere.