I am often asked, like really often, why I decided to become a Foster Carer. As a parent and step parent hadn’t I done enough child care duties for an adult? Well the truth is that I worked in both finance and engineering and given the choice between working for myself and working for somebody else I would rather do the former. I know I am still working for someone, be it a Local Authority (LA) or Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) but you only have interaction with such people on a weekly or even monthly basis. I like that, I like the responsibility of dealing with issues and problems and I enjoy being a problem solver. Dealing with peoples personal problems is a lot more satisfying then sorting out corporate stuff as I did previously. There is a huge difference between sitting in an office, in a suit, staring all day at a computer screen than there is caring for one or more young person. You do have freedom, dependent on the age of your young people, when your placements are at school. That gives you plenty of opportunities to do things for yourself, such as following a hobby or even, in our case, running a business that is not related to fostering. Being able to mix your daily routine between Fostering and another activity means that you aren’t mentally tied to one activity. But Fostering gives you that great feeling of being of actually doing something for your community and for the countless young people who need to be helped.

It might seem to be a stereotype but a lot of the young people we’ve cared for have needed a male role model in their lives. So what does a male role model bring to a young person’s life? Well first of all the young person is getting input from two adults rather than one, that can give two different out looks on life and two different opinions. For boys, especially, having an adult male perspective to listen to can broaden their horizons and help with their overall behaviour and attitude towards other people. So, how about an example? Well we had a young placement, a twelve year old lad we will call D. D was from a totally female household, however his Mum had a boyfriend who occasionally visited the house hold. The boyfriend drunk a lot and could be quite violent towards D’s Mum. So the only example of adult male behaviour was a violent drunk. D came to us as Mum could not cope with looking after him due to both physical and mental health issues. When D came to us he would sometimes display ‘attitude’ towards my wife.

That wasn’t his fault as such it was more learnt behaviour, witnessing how the boyfriend had acted towards his Mum. I had a number of discussions with him regarding his behaviour and how he would speak to adult females. I helped him to understand that his Mum’s boyfriend’s behaviour was unacceptable and wasn’t something that he needed to repeat. He understood what I was telling him and actually apologised to my wife without any prompting from me. After about two months and we got a lovely message from both him and his Mum thanking us for our efforts and thanking me for giving him some male input and wisdom. We kept in contact with him for several years afterwards and it was delightful to hear how he was progressing in his life and what a nice young man he had become.

Web Support and Security by 39D Services LTD
Share This