It really helps to be part of an active fostering community
Online forums, such as FosterTalk, provide foster carers with a great opportunity to talk each other about fostering. The ability to see how other people are coping with the daily issues they face can be really insightful.
It is even more beneficial when foster carers can converse in real life. Networks of foster carers, which exist at local level, offer mutually supportive relationships which benefit everyone. These networks are invaluable and Perpetual Fostering considers its own fostering community to be its core foundation.
The benefit of knowing your peers
No matter how supportive your supervising social worker is, their experiences of foster care will never quite be the same as your own. They are not the ones dealing directly with the issues you face at home.
By talking to your peers, however, you are sharing your experiences with people in the same boat as you, with the same worries. Asking questions and listening to people going through the same thing can be a great way to learn and develop as a foster carer.
This is why Perpetual Fostering arranges monthly forums for all our foster carers and organises a buddy and mentoring scheme which brings new and experienced foster carers closer together.
The monthly forum provides foster carers with an opportunity to pool their experiences. We may initiate these forums but this is a space for the foster carers and they determine the topic of conversation.
These forums also help nurture a community spirit which leads to plenty of group activities which are arranged throughout the year. Last year saw camping trips, Christmas parties and a sponsored walk in Delamere Forest.
These events are a great way to introduce new foster carers to the community. Whether you have been approved for 30 days or 30 years, you are made to feel welcome.
Buddy and mentoring
We also encourage all our experienced foster carers to gain national qualifications in mentoring which provides them with skills that can be applied when participating in our buddy scheme.
We find that the when new and experienced foster carers are brought together through this scheme, long lasting friendships are often formed. The foster carers will also organise activities between their respective families – they may go to the beach or on a picnic – which is fantastic.
* It is not uncommon for foster carers to worry about being left all alone when they are approved. That is not the case with Perpetual Fostering. If you would like to know more about the support we provide to our fostering community please get in touch with our fostering team and find out more.