A Day In The Life Of A Foster Carer
Sandra and John have been fostering for two years and are caring for a 16-year-old girl called Katlyn. Today, they share a day in the life of a foster family.
Sandra and John have been fostering for two years, and are caring for a 16-year-old girl called Katlyn. We spoke to them about their role as Foster Carers and asked them to share with us a day in the life of their family...
We are always up before the children. Like for most parents, the mornings can be quite hectic – getting our birth child, Lucy (7), ready for school, and making sure Katlyn has everything she needs for the day.
After John leaves for work, I head off on the school run. Lucy gets dropped off first, and then we make our way to Katlyn’s school. This is slightly further away but the journey is fine and it’s good getting to chat just the two of us. We agreed to transport Katlyn to her school so that she didn’t have to move, as she was very settled there.
After the school run, I spend most of the morning doing food shopping, housework and catching up on errands. Today I’ve been into town to return a dress (Katlyn’s prom is next week and it’s surprising how many tries it takes to get the right outfit!)
I grab some lunch with my friend in town. It’s great to have some good support nearby, and seeing friends provides a bit of ‘me time’. My friend also fosters so it’s lovely to be able to offer advice to each other.
Katlyn is on a half-day at school today. I pick her up and take her across town to her optician appointment. When I greet her, she seems very quiet. I ask her how her day has been and she immediately gets very angry about an argument she’d had with a girl in her year. Katlyn often finds it hard to control her anger, and we have been trying to support her with this by showing her ways to calm herself down. I let her shout without asking too many questions until she’s finished and I can offer her advice once she’s calm.
The opticians went ok, and Katlyn is in a much better mood. We head to collect Lucy from school and the two of them enjoy chatting. We’re so glad they both get on really well; Katlyn acts like a big sister to Lucy, and it’s been great to see her wanting to help look after her.
At home, Katlyn goes straight up to her room to text her friends. I help Lucy with some homework and then start preparing dinner. Katlyn comes downstairs to use the computer – She is looking at different childcare colleges for when she leaves school. I’ve taken her to a couple of open days this month, which she has really enjoyed. I tell her about a playground assistant job I’ve seen advertised in the local nursey, and offer to help her to apply for it.
Katlyn and Lucy help to set the table for dinner. Katlyn has become quite good at helping around the house. To begin with, she did not want to get involved in anything, but we have encouraged her to keep her room tidy, and she is now also good at helping with dinnertime. It’s been brilliant to see her confidence grow and how independent she is becoming.
John gets home at 6 pm, so we all eat dinner together. We’ve always tried to sit at the table together so we can talk about our days. I will be taking Katlyn to have contact with her mum on Saturday so we talk a bit about how she is feeling about that. She sees her mum every month, which can sometimes be difficult for her, but she is looking forward to telling her about college.
We watch a bit of TV together in the lounge before Lucy goes up to bed. Katlyn decides to go up to her room to watch a DVD. She’s very much involved in family time but does still like to have her own space too.
Overall, it’s been a pretty good day. It’s been nice to see how excited Katlyn is about college, and John and I are looking forward to seeing how she gets on. We find that every day is different in fostering, and there is always something new going on. You get good days and bad but, in the long run, seeing the difference you can make to the life of a young person, and watching them grow, is amazing.
*Names have been changed
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