Case study: Why I became a foster carer…

Julie is a foster carer and an employee of Options. Read about her experiences and what motivated her to become a foster carer for Options Fostering…

“I’ve been a foster carer since 2006. I always wanted to foster but my husband thought that we had enough to manage with our own family of 6 so he wouldn’t be persuaded. However, we both started work at Options College Shifnal in 2003 and discovered that there were young people who weren’t being offered an alternative to residential care because their life stories led people to assume they couldn’t be managed in a family setting, and yet we could see that there were some really good kids that just wanted someone to give them a chance.

This changed everything for my husband and I got my way … finally!

The initial assessment was hard work, it’s a very intrusive and thorough process but we understood the need to find the right people and we were more informed carers because of it.

Options Fostering has provided the highest level of support. We’ve encountered situations that have made us think long and hard about what we are doing. It can be tough and the right support is imperative. The agency have offered us guidance and skilled clinical support which has helped to sustain our resilience and the young person’s placement.

When one of our boys was offered the chance to move in to his own flat after reaching his 18th birthday, he chose to remain with us under the ‘Staying Put Scheme’. He told his Social Worker that he didn’t want to move out and would prefer to remain with his ‘family’. That was such a huge compliment for us.

He’s 20 now, has just completed his Level 4 Mechanics course and is proud to be working as a qualified mechanic. He is a real highlight in our fostering career because he has made some really good choices for himself and we played a part in that. He’s been telling us recently that he isn’t moving out until he’s 37”

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