Being in the ‘business’ for 20 years now, Team Fostering have seen a lot of young people, foster carers and staff come and go. And in that time, everyone along the way has made a valuable contribution to Team Fostering in a wide range of ways, while being united in an important, shared goal – putting the care of vulnerable children and young people at the heart of everything we do.
This solid, unwavering aim to put children first, while redirecting any profits made by the agency back into high-quality foster care provision, is a huge part of why foster carers made the leap to join Team Fostering from our very earliest days, while we were still very new and unknown as an Independent Fostering Agency.
Foster carer Elaine, whose daughter Allison was one of Team Fostering’s very first carers and persuaded her mum to move across to Team too, recently retired from fostering after almost 20 years with the agency. And even though she was initially wary of the motives behind a new fostering agency, when she found out about the staff team behind Team Fostering, it instantly allayed her fears.
She recounted her early thoughts: “I asked [my daughter] ‘Was it Peter [Richardson, co-founder]?’ Peter had a great credibility in foster care in the area, and when I found out Douglas [Shearer, Principal Recruitment Social Worker] was involved too, I lost all my concerns.”
But it wasn’t just the staff who were involved that drew Elaine towards Team Fostering. The increased support and training being offered stood out in comparison to Elaine’s past experiences in fostering, as she remembers from the start: “You always had a good Supervising Social Worker available to you.”
That great belief in what Team Fostering were doing encouraged Elaine to take a leap of faith: “Peter called me about a young person who was due in court that day, and who needed a place to be or they would be headed for the justice system. He came to us, and with tons of encouragement from my husband, we started having him wash up the dishes. Then he moved to prepping the vegetables for our meal. And now, years later he’s a chef, has written a cookbook and I’ll see him get married this year too.”
If you think you could make a massive difference to a young person’s life and help them move towards a positive future, come and talk to us now.