fostering blogs

Foster Care Profession

Training Professional Foster Carers

Everything has dropped into a nice routine and pattern. It’s difficult, some mornings, to drag James (name changed) out of bed but then it’s difficult, some mornings, to drag me out of bed. It’s up at 6:45, shower, get James up, make breakfast, make sure he has all his stuff ready, out the door and then peace and quiet. James much prefers getting the bus with his mates then getting a lift with his Foster carer.

So today I have some online training.

A nice course about self-harm to get the juices flowing. So I cleared up the breakfast things, grabbed a coffee and sat in front of the PC to learn something new. I must say I’ve always enjoyed learning new things with regards to Fostering and young people’s behaviour. My training officer asks you to do three courses per year which I am quite happy to do. The courses are informative and interesting and well worth giving up a few hours of your day to do.

When I first started Fostering, in the mid-90s, it would always bug me that carers weren’t included in things like Professionals Meetings. The inference was that Carers weren’t professional.

Although attitudes have now changed there are some Social Workers who tend to look at carers in a negative light. Some carers bring that treatment on themselves by not acting in a professional way.

So a few tips on earning the title of a Professional. If you are attending a meeting, be prepared!

Have your diary up to date and make sure you are also up to today with your financial records. Dress accordingly. Do not turn up to a meeting in joggers and trainers. You don’t need a suit but try to look the part.

Have some bullet points ready if there are points that you wish to raise. Don’t interrupt and make sure you are punctual. It’s amazing how peoples attitude towards you changes when you show how prepared you are.

James got home at about 4:30 and seemed a little quiet. We sat and ate and he went straight back into his room, which was unusual. I challenged him to a game of FIFA but he wasn’t really interested. Finally, at about 8pm, he came in and sat down. Apparently he had been subjected to some ‘banter’ from some of his mates regarding being in care. It has, obviously, touched a raw nerve with him. I told him, based on what he had told me, that it was ‘banter’ and nothing more.

There was nothing hurtful in what they had said to him but I could understand why it had upset him. I suggested that he spoke to them about it and explained that it was upsetting for him. We chatted until 10pm went he went off to bed. I updated my diary and went to bed. It was difficult to sleep.

I tried to put myself in his position and how I would feel as a 14 year old being in his situation.

It’s quite upsetting when you try to analyse it and you wonder the effect will have on James, and other children in care, as they become adults.

A Blogging Foster Carer.