Just looking for a chat I guess. I am single, no kids, 12 years childminding experience of all ages including overnights/days at a time. Now retrained as a children's mental health worker and do that. And 7 years experience of working on a voluntary basis for a children's charity too.
Spare room. Owned flat with private garden.
Been contemplating fostering for about 10 years, never been the right time job wise/home wise.
Have some physical health issues but they are improving and hope to improve more over the next year, but I manage to work full time with them.
Considering something like respite foster care? So only on some weekends - is that a thing? Would love to do it full time etc but to maybe start slowly might be an idea?
Have sent an expression of interest form to local authority (In Scotland if that affects anyone's answers) and to a few agencies.
I think that sounds perfect and will give you the perfect opportunity to find out if it's something you could do ( or want to do! ) full time. I'm in Scotland and most areas are crying out for more foster carers so would encourage you to give it a go. Good luck!
I think I would be good at it. I have worries about things in the past being dragged up (nothing awful/illegal) just difficult times and also do they contact ex boyfriends?! Would they want to speak to my family? I only see them occasionally and they don't live close by and wouldn't be involved at all.
Whilst for obvious reasons there is a huge need for full time foster carers, respite carers are always needed. Kids don’t always have passports, carers need a break, kids need a break. I work in a long term Looked After team and we are trying to move towards arrangements that mirror real life ‘respite’ that parents and children use: having the same person and it being a natural part of life that is a positive thing. I feel strongly that positively used, it can widen support & family networks for children who tend to have very few people for this in their life. Go for it and have fun!
I do respite foster caring. I have two separate boys who both show challenging behaviour and are on a behaviour programme. Every fortnight one of them comes to me for the weekend (Ie monthly for the child) I aim to make our weekend match their programme and I focus totally on the child for the days they are with me.
I do no housework apart from cooking meals, I sit by them when they play on the iPad, I basically suspend life for me for the weekend. We play football, we go horse riding, we trampoline, we do puzzles, Lego and we cook cakes and pizzas and have a child centred weekend. I love it but I am exhausted at the end of 3 days. It's different from long term fostering and it suits me because I can also work 3 days a week.
I would heartily recommend starting with respite before taking on even short term fostering.
If you are a single carer (I am) this is a great way to make a significant difference to a child's life and to work as a foster carer without committing too deeply too soon.