Emma’s Fostering Blogs are by an experienced foster carer who gives you an honest and revealing insight into the ups and downs of foster care. A great resource for other carers and those interested in becoming carers.

Fostering Blogs

Fostering Outcomes Blog

Emma’s fostering blog

Different outcomes

How is the system fair when ‘Looked after children’ can remain with their Foster carers until they are 21 but young people in residential homes are out in the cold on their 18th birthday. 

On the night on their 18th birthday now adults, the services stop caring when they need them the most. Some care leavers are often emotionally young and have no one to rely on, but the current system doesn’t care because in the eyes of the law at 18 they are adults, so legally that’s it, they have done what was expected of them.

Ok so the government have put in place Personal Assistants for care leavers, but many are not social workers but people who obviously want to try and help but so often have no experience of ‘Looked after children’ or their journey through the care system.

Unfortunately most of the support workers are young so they have limited life experiences, and thrown in to the job, because there are not enough staff to shadow them or train them.

In the first six months of becoming a care leaver Steve had two changes of workers who both left because of high caseloads, too much paperwork, but the expectations put on them was as if they were social workers. Both went back to the industry they came from.

Since then there have been many more personal assistants come and go, they never stick around long enough to build a relationship.

Steve had spent 14 years of his life in the care system with too many changes of social workers and now happening again with Personal Assistants. He has since lost faith and he dreads the visits, the questions and having to repeat his story each time, so much so now, that they are lucky if he acknowledges them.

He is luckier than most as he lives with us and we continue to support him but many don’t because the government are not really committed, it’s just talk and more policies.

The whole system needs investment, it needs more carers offering ‘Staying Put’ it needs creative ideas for young people leaving residential so they can have an adult to support them through adulthood.

All care leavers deserve the very best, the system can’t turn its back on them at 18- age is just a number! For too long many children leaving care have had a raw deal, with no one to ease their path into adult life. Some care leavers who were in foster care still have the support of their ex foster Carers through their adult life. Unlike in residential they often have changes of staff and high turnover of staff.  Who supports them through their adult life!

My thoughts are that we need to be every bit as ambitious for these young people as we would be for our own children and help make their dreams come true.

Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!

fostering blogs

Blog | Time for Home

Emma’s fostering blog

Time to go home

They say all good things come to an end, which is a shame as we have had a really successful week camping, and I say that with relief because the boys can be tricky at times; sometimes the loss of routine can be difficult for them or just being out of their comfort zone.

We often try to go to the same smaller campsites as they have been to before because they are they are familiar, and we have established a good camping routine now as they are both well-travelled. This morning with precision planning we were up early and all doing our bit to put the tents away.

I felt a bit sorry for the neighbours though, as asking them to do the task quietly was an impossible request. Looking back on the week I can honestly say it was a joy to spend quality time.

Each day we voted on what we should do next; playing board games was fun, crazy golf and pool was a favourite. We were happy we actually all managed a 2 mile walk through the many scenic fields surrounding us, and then finally ending up at a lovely country pub where we had lunch and giant ice creams before heading back. They thought it great that they could stay up later as they were on holiday.

The pool area was great they had a giant slides so everyone enjoyed having a go on them. Its helps that we all have similar interests, and we also went to see some lovely old fashioned steam trains and had a visit to a very large exhibition of model railways which I think my husband and the boys enjoyed the most. 

For me a whole week of doing no cooking or washing up was great, as the boys took turns in helping to cook dinner every night with my partner and we had some great meals outdoors. The most enjoyable part was being together; no social workers, no meetings or training, no emails, phone calls, no school runs, no making packed lunches, or worrying about school uniforms. 

Having a break where it’s safe for the boys to be themselves and spend quality time, hearing them laugh, no pressure, just able to make new good memories together.

I think they are looking forward to their own beds and a couple of early nights. I’m looking forward to the Summer camping now, bring it on…

My thought are foster children who are going on holiday for the first time, a trip within the UK to the seaside or countryside is probably best to see how they get on, before considering getting permission to take them abroad.

Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!

Fostering Blogs

A Fostering Career?

Emma’s fostering blog

’Thinking about Fostering’

When you’re thinking about fostering, there is much to consider you obviously want to make a difference; you certainly don’t want to fail.

It’s important to do your research as they all sound great on paper! Think carefully about the impact fostering will have on your own family/ wider family as your family dynamic and relationships will change. Talk to your children first as fostering can have a positive, negative or mixed impact on them as they play a big role in fostering.

May is Foster Care Fortnight this is the Fostering Network’s annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and to show how foster care transforms lives. There will be many fostering events on, find out more about what fostering entails and there are foster carers on hand, so you will be able to hear what they say about the support, training and how the company works in general. 

The role of a foster carer is to make that difference, but don’t expect too much at first, children can come with complex issues from neglect. You need to be prepared; they have been let down time and time again, and it takes time for them to build trust with you before they can begin the process of healing.

So how do you choose who to foster for- my advice is to check with Ofsted; read the inspection reports in your area, I would choose one local as it’s so important that you build relationships with other foster carers for support as the job is emotionally draining. Look at the rating and about the company, and I would especially look at how carers are supported.

When you have decided, check out the recruitment events with the local authority and the private sector, ask lots of questions, speak to foster carers, ask them what they think about the support, and if they feel valued and listened to.

Don’t go into it because you think you can make money out of it because you can’t and I would be very careful about anyone offering high amounts of money to care for a child; as my experience says  be careful they may need far more than a foster home can offer. Most important- depending on the type of fostering, you may need to be in a child’s life for many years not just till they are 18, as often you are their support network through adulthood.

There is plenty of information around on fostering but I would recommend you look at the fostering network or if you have further questions for impartial advice you can contact Foster Line.

My thoughts are I never really knew how hard fostering was going to be emotionally or how challenging it would be. To watch a child grow into a confident and successful adult, knowing you made that difference is the best feeling you can experience.

Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!