Since the new John Lewis Retail advert came out last week, it has been a hot topic of conversation throughout the world of fostering. It’s always a positive thing when foster care is in the news for the right reasons, and John Lewis’ thoughtful, compassionate way of spotlighting both foster carers and young people in the care system has certainly got people talking.
Some of our foster carers shared stories of going the extra mile to make Looked After Children feel comfortable with them; from learning to roller-skate, with all the bumps and falls associated with it, to carers like Neil who watched countless youtube videos to learn how to French Braid hair – it was very clear that our Team Fostering carers were fully prepared to leave their comfort zone behind to support the children that come to stay with them.
Carer Di told us how she overcame one of her biggest fears to support L’s love of horses:
“L came to me in late 2018 as an emergency. In those early days, she spoke of her love of horse riding, although I now know she’d never been. For Christmas that year I bought her a voucher for six horse-riding hacks. She loved her gift and when the time came to go, she asked if I would go with her, and I readily agreed. However, I have a phobia of horses and the prospect of getting close enough to even touch one of these beautiful creatures terrified me. But, we managed to go on several hacks together and I later thanked her for helping me to conquer my fear.”
On the other hand, sometimes the smallest things you can do are the most meaningful, as carer Kate explained:
“It was a very different way of fostering for us when we looked after three sisters whose mother was terminally ill. We effectively merged the families to ensure the mother and her girls made the most of every moment, from regular “carpet picnics” in the hospice with board games, to evenings there having fun and making memories. My own son was part of this and often could be found laid at the foot of the hospice bed chatting about his day. When their mum was well enough to leave the hospital, I would pick her up and she would be at my house when the girls got in from school for tea and a movie. We adapted and made a potentially tragic time a little easier, with many positive memories.”
Team Fostering are grateful to all of our foster carers who go out of their way to support and accept children at some of the most vulnerable times of their young lives.
If you think you too could go the extra mile to make a young person feel safe and supported, give us a call on 0800 292 2003 or leave your details here to find out more about becoming a foster carer with Team Fostering.