15th March, 2023
We were lucky enough to catch up with Excel foster carer of eight years, Sue recently.
Sue was keen to be open and honest about her fostering experiences, and admitted that at the beginning of her extensive fostering career, when you are a new carer the experience is an apprehensive one.
But let’s rewind a little. Sue’s decision to foster didn’t happen overnight, it was a well thought out process and a decision that she had taken many years to come to. She had pondered on the notion for many years before deciding to take the plunge.
Then with her three children having grown up and flown the nest, the time was finally right. In the beginning Sue maintained her role as a teaching assistant which worked alongside her fostering duties.
However, she felt like she was missing out. She told us,
When Sue retired from her position, she continued to foster and now had time to join the local support groups.
After spending a career in education, Sue was used to an environment where she always had back up on hand, which is why turning to support groups gave a great sense of comfort and also bought a more social side to the fostering role.
Indeed, after a lengthy career in fostering they are a vital resource which Sue continues to use. She has also come to be a part of the Fostering Forums provided by Excel.
Sue tells us that the support groups have evolved over time and now sometimes have guest speakers which pass on useful knowledge, such as a FosterTalk speaker discussing Tax Returns which can be a daunting subject for a fledgling foster carer.
“I think people that don’t use them are missing out.” Sue confessed.
Sue was a breath of fresh air to speak to, and at 64 she is still going strong with fostering. Although now she offers short-term fostering and has some regular children who come to stay with her who are part of long term arrangements with other foster carers, which suits Sues current situation.
When Sue started fostering she took on long term arrangements which she has loved being part of but now prefers more short term stays, her fostering career has evolved over time.
Advice for those thinking about fostering
Sue’s words of wisdom for those just starting out on their fostering journey is to keep and open mind, to follow your instinct and to not give in to pressure or stereotypical beliefs.
Well said Sue.
If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.