A Journey Into Foster Care12 June, 2015
Paisley Fosterplus Foster Carer, Hannah McIntyre, talks about her experience of becoming a foster carer.
I had thought about becoming a foster carer for a while and had weighed the pros and cons before making the decision which would change not just my life but the lives of my family and friends as well.
Being quite a private person, I was apprehensive about what the process would entail but I need not have worried. My Meeting with Fosterplus was relaxed and very informative as they explained how I would be supported as a foster carer. I took part in training with other new carers, allowing time to meet and discuss what the role of the foster carer entails.
After about six months I was ready to go to panel where it was decided if I would be approved to foster. My Supervising Social Worker was supportive and talked me through this process. After talking to the panel members I was given their decision right away. I was a fully fledged Foster Carer and was eager to start.
At first I did some short term respite work where I had a child for weekends. I felt this was really beneficial as it gave me experience and allowed me to reaffirm that this was truly what I wanted to do.
After a few months I was matched with a child who Fosterplus and I felt would fit into our family and the lifestyle that we lived. Children can come on short term, long term, respite or emergency placements which can last from one night to many years.
You have the choice of what kind of placement you want to provide and what age range and gender of children that you would ideally prefer to foster.
I have been a Foster Carer now for five years and have enjoyed watching children become all that they can be. It has been a privilege to help children on their journey and to know that I have been able to make a difference in their lives, no matter how small.
My advice to anyone who is considering becoming a foster carer is to open your homes and your hearts to children who need you. I have never regretted picking up that telephone and saying” I would like to become a Foster Carer” and I hope that I am able to continue fostering for many years to come.