My journey began three and a half years ago when I decided to go into fostering. I had a friend who fostered through Ideal Fostering, and decided to find out more. The Registered Manager came to visit and we started the process. The training given was very formative and interesting. In December 2012 I went to panel, and by January 2013 I was fostering two boys who have been living with us for just over three years. Recently we have had our third young person come to live with us, and we are all one big family.
My experiences with the company have all been positive, and all the staff are very helpful, and encouraging.
I feel that Ideal Fostering is an extension to the family.
The fun days out and Christmas Party that Ideal put on for the young people are very well organised and entertaining.
I am glad I chose Ideal Fostering
I really couldn’t survive fostering without the support, trust, care and commitment I have received from my supervising social worker. I must also add that with the help and commitment from all professionals involved, in working together as a team, we are able to make such positive changes to a young person’s life overall.
I was given the resources any time I required this, along with advice freely given and support from my previous supervising social worker. This process enabled me to develop, learn and work through the TSD training programme with confidence.
I am lucky to work for a really caring and committed team at Ideal Fostering who have helped support and advise me every step of the way.
My initial expectations were that the assessment process would be intrusive, long and complex. However, this was not the case entirely. Yes, it was fairly long however the assessor kept a good pace, building trust which developed a positive relationship between us. I could be open and honest and I feel this is key to deliver whatever was required at that given moment.
My assessor was professional and approachable. There was never a time when I was not sure what was happening or why certain aspects of my past and present life required clarity.
The assessor was there every step of the way and always supported and reassured me how each stage was progressing. For example, I felt very nervous at panel stage, the assessor talked through what would happen and I felt he went above and beyond reassuring me that it would be okay.
All the professionals at panel were very informed and asked me straightforward questions which put me at ease. It was very clear that all parties had children’s welfare at the heart of the interview and I felt privileged to be part of the process. I understood how important the role of a foster carer is and why the process is a requirement.
We have been foster carers for Ideal Fostering for over six years and we both gave up our secure jobs to pursue this very rewarding career. We have had four placements in that time and each child has had their own unique needs and complexities. This can be challenging but very rewarding when you advocate and make positive changes to children's lives. The majority of the children that come into care have encountered some kind of abuse however we have observed that children are resilient and can thrive in placement when they are given love, care, and routine. Children respond very well to carers who give them time, listen to them and most of all ensure that the environment that they live is a safe haven.
We have cared for children with disabilities ranging from mild to moderate and complex needs, they have all taught us new skills and we appreciate things we take for granted in our everyday life.
We would highly recommend that fostering is a rewarding job getting a great deal of job satisfaction and also a bonus that the financial fees are generous. Fostering can be demanding and you will have lots of people visiting your home but making minor adjustments to your life style can help overcome some of the negatives. We have found that a good supporting Social Worker can make all the difference and you never feel alone. The management at our agency is excellent and we have had no hesitation in contacting them whenever the need has arisen.
I would like to share how we had a child placed with us and we were told his life expectancy was six months however with lots of care, compliance to medication and special diet he is no longer a life limited child. I am not aware of many carers that would allow us the opportunity in life to say we had a big role to play in this but this gave us a individuals a real feel good factor.
Rifat and Ahmid
Having worked in the caring profession for 30 years I had always harboured the desire to become a foster carer, but knew the battles and challenges for the child and foster carer is very real and not a decision to be taken lightly.
I believe every child deserves a champion, an adult who would never give up on them and understands the importance of connection, someone who would insist on them being the best they can possibly be.
Before deciding to become a foster carer I thoroughly looking into the role and the essential support needed to be balanced and successful. I literally vetted what felt like a hundred fostering agencies as I wanted to find the right agency for me that shared my feelings of child centred care.
In 2010 I became a foster carer with Ideal Fostering after meeting staff including the directors. Not only did they answer all my questions (which were many) but I could see they put the children first and was at the heart of everything they do.
Five years on, I can say I chose the right agency and feel very proud to be a part of an agency that has gone from strength to strength in defending the rights and meeting the needs of vulnerable children.