16th May, 2023
Ellie has been a Supervising Social Worker with Excel Fostering since July 2020, starting her career with the organisation at one of the most challenging times faced in social care, at the height of the pandemic.
But that hasn’t stopped her from loving her time here.
“It feels like family here.” She said when we caught up with her, ahead of Foster Care Fortnight. “The foster carers are wonderful, I am lucky that everyone I work with is dedicated to giving young people that loving and stable family home.”
When you are considering fostering as a vocation there is a lot of information to digest, as well as terminology that you may not have come across before. Most people will be familiar with the term Social Worker, but what is a supervising social worker?
Ellie broke it down. Whereas a social worker is there to support the child, the supervising social worker (sometimes abbreviated to SSW) is there to support the foster parents.
Supporting her foster carers, so that they may support their children is what Ellie’s role is all about. She spends time talking to the carers she supervises, as well as liaising with local authority and the child’s social worker. She ensures that training is up to date and that her carers are well informed at all times.
Relationships with her carers is important to Ellie, and she told us that she will always make herself available for a quick chat should they need it.
Supporting eight families, living with twenty-one children allows Ellie to truly offer a personal approach, she personally knows all of the families she supports and what is going on with them at any one moment.
For Ellie, she describes the future possibilities that fostering can bring about for that young person.
She told us about a young person, age eighteen, who is continuing to live with his foster family in a ‘staying put’ arrangement and is continuing in education with a barber apprenticeship and is looking ahead. She said,
When asked what has brightened her day, she didn’t hesitate in talking about a particular meeting she was part of between her foster carers, local authority and school to discuss a trio of Nigerian siblings. Their history is complicated, but safe to say they have endured much in their short lives.
However, during the course of the meeting it became apparent that under the guidance of their foster parents these children were actually now overachieving in school. Their confidence lifting, they were getting into hobbies like swimming and Brownies.
“I was so proud of my carers, they had worked so hard, taken every bit of training offered and gone to great lengths to bring these children’s culture into their home, to witness the results of this hard work is a feeling like no other.”
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