We go the extra mile to support our foster carers
Gail Robinson is a supervising social worker with Perpetual Fostering. Here she talks about her role and the support she provides to foster carers.
The experience of being a social worker has been an amazing journey for me. Each day affords me the privilege of working with foster carers and supporting them through any challenges that may come along.
My role feels extra special because of the supportive culture that is promoted by Perpetual Fostering. A key part of my role involves the recruitment of new foster carers, and I feel it is important that people get a sense of that support which appealed so much to me when I first joined the team.
My final placement before being approved as a social worker was with Perpetual – and although I was little nervous when I first arrived, they immediately reassured me with a warm welcome.
The team’s professionalism, their camaraderie and a light-hearted working environment left me with a sense of belonging and had me wishing I was a permanent fixture. Thankfully, my subsequent application was successful and it has allow me to fulfil my desire to work in social care on a daily basis.
There is a huge emphasis placed on supporting our foster carers as we understand the value this has for everyone involved, especially for those new to fostering. Therefore, we make it a priority to develop close working relationships with all carers looking to join the agency. This also helps build trust and confidence with their supervising social worker, once approved.
We feel it is important that all foster carers are reassured that they are not providing foster care in isolation – support is only ever a phone call away. When a placement is first made we go the extra mile to make sure foster carers realise that support is there. If a new match has been made a duty worker will be available in case there are any concerns, but in addition to that, I will also keep in touch with the foster carer over the first few days to check that everything is okay.
As a supervising social worker, I will then be in contact with that foster carer every week. My role also involves taking responsibility for liaising with other social workers and relevant professionals to discuss any possible concerns in regards to the children placed.
At times during a placement, foster carers can also go through their own personal difficulties and if this is the case I will be there to provide both practical and emotional support. If meetings need to be attended I’ll be there with the foster carer and go in their place if they are unable to be there.
It is important to me that foster carers have this support so they can concentrate on doing what they do best – providing the best possible care for their child and young person.
If you want to find out more about my role or the support provided by Perpetual Fostering, please contact one of our team for more information.