An ethos built around providing support to everyone
Kelly Worthington is a supervising social worker with Perpetual Fostering. Here she explains her role and the value of Perpetual’s fostering community.
My first experience of Perpetual Fostering was during my final MA placement. When I came in I found the team fresh, vibrant and ready to get down to business. This helped me hit the ground running.
The team were incredibly welcoming, almost like a family, and there was never a moment when I felt unable to ask advice. There is an ethos here which is built around providing support – and that extends to everyone in the community.
You can see the team demonstrate their commitment to providing support every day, through their interactions with foster carers and young people. There is a strong community spirit and I have found that to be one of Perpetual Fostering’s biggest strengths.
Within in a foster caring community you expect there to be highs and lows. At Perpetual those highs are enjoyed and when there are lows it hits everyone. It is at these times however, that the culture at Perpetual Fostering truly shines through.
The team pulls together, looks after each other and moves forward. You learn a lot in a team like this.
I am now a qualified social worker and it is a privilege to be involved providing this service on a full time basis. The work we do involves meeting new people who are all looking to be foster carers. They allow us into their homes and tell us about their lives. Our role is then to support them every step of the way along their fostering journey.
This role coupled with the enthusiasm of everyone at Perpetual makes this an exciting environment to work in. It is a job that allows you to learn and develop.
Everyday I’m in contact with foster carers, and the young people in their care, either by telephone, on visits, at meetings or at the monthly forums. It is at these monthly forums that the community spirit which exists here can really be seen.
I play a key role organising the ‘Boom Group’ forum for our young people. This is a great opportunity for them to tell us what they want from Perpetual Fostering and we get to learn their likes and dislikes.
The group is also a way for them to organise the social events which bring everyone together. Last year our young people wanted to go camping so we organised a weekend trip, which was great fun for those involved. At Christmas they also wanted a party and we were told that this had to include games, prizes, a DJ and a Santa.
Arranging these events is one of the most enjoyable parts of the job as everyone gets involved and it helps every individual feel part of a community which is pulling together. You can also see our young people developing friendships which extend beyond the organised meetings and continue into their daily lives – where they can carrying on providing support to one another.