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The Perpetual Team: Get To Know Us – Part 2

Here we’re picking up where our last post left off: get to know Kelly, Gail and Anne!

Kelly Worthington – Supervising Social Worker

What has changed about fostering during your experience?
In this agency we have become more flexible in our recruitment process – from my initial experiences we were quite fixed in what we were looking for. However, with time I’ve realised people will always come to us with a history, and a past, so there’s no such thing as a “perfect foster carer”.

What do you look for in successful foster carers?
Someone with patience, a welcoming, nonjudgmental attitude, and who demonstrates an understanding of a child’s perspective.

What inspired you to work in fostering?
For me it was the community feel: it appeared that within this agency we would able to have a lot of interaction and direct involvement with the foster carers and young people. It also felt like a place where everyone’s voice and opinions are welcomed and valued.

What is a common misconception about fostering that you have observed?
People always seem to think that young people will be grateful, and openly show their appreciation for what a foster carer does for them. However this isn’t always the case.

If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?
I would like to have many superpowers! But if I had to choose one, I’d really like the ability to clone myself so I could be in several places all at one time.

Gail Robinson – Supervising Social Worker

What has changed about fostering during your experience?
There appears to be a greater emphasis on the opinion of the foster child being taken into account – and rightly so!

What do you look for in successful foster carers?
I look for robustness, coupled with a very light-hearted and optimistic disposition, which can be quite a difficult combination to find!

What inspired you to work in fostering?
The fact that I didn’t possess the wherewithal to foster myself, so I felt the next best thing would be to support those who do!

What is a common misconception about fostering that you have observed?
That people who have no children of their own cannot foster.

If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?
Omnipresence – then I could finally get everything I need to do done before bed!!

Anne Dewhurst – Supervising Social Worker

What has changed about fostering during your experience?
As an agency we now have very clear procedures, an approachable management team, as well as effective procedural and policy guidance. On top of that, we’ve recruited a significant number of foster carers, and built a very supportive team of staff!

What do you look for in successful foster carers?
Patience, commitment, creativity, a sense of humour, a willingness to learn new things, flexibility, the ability to listen and take advice, and the ability to nurture!

What inspired you to work in fostering?
The opportunity to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable children by supporting, supervising and guiding foster carers in their roles.

What is a common misconception about fostering that you have observed?
That fostering is exactly the same thing as parenting your own child.

If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?
The power to add several more hours onto my day – should I so choose!

We hope these have been insightful posts into our fostering agency, and shed a little light into who we are as a team! If you have any questions for us directly, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

This time round we wanted to introduce some of our very own superheroes, who work so hard behind the scenes, keeping everything ticking over and making our fostering agency work so well – say hello to some of our team!

Paula McGeein – Supervising Social Worker

What has changed about fostering during your experience?
There has been a significant change in legislation, known as the ‘Staying Put’ guidance, enabling children to stay with their carers until the age of 21.

What do you look for in successful foster carers?
Good people and communication skills, personable and welcoming demeanour, open-minded. I would also look closely at whether they would have the caring kind of approach required to be a foster carer, alongside their flexibility and level of emotional stability.

What inspired you to work in fostering?
I always hope to contribute to an improved quality of life for vulnerable children. Working for an agency, I feel enabled to achieve this, whilst working alongside likeminded people who also aspire to supporting children.

What is a common misconception about fostering that you have observed?
In my time at Perpetual, I believe the most common misconception from potential foster carers is the extremity of challenges which fostering can present.

If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?
If I had a super power, it would be one of two things. Either a sixth sense, enabling me to sense intuitively whether an applicant would be an effective foster carer, or to be able to sense if something untoward was happening within a foster placement – both are about keeping children safe! But then I’d also like to be able to clone myself, so I could be here, there and everywhere to get everything done, I suppose making me a super social worker!!

Matilda Midzi – Supervising Social Worker

What has changed about fostering during your experience?
Fostering has become more of a career, and less about what people would like to do out of the kindness of their heart.

What do you look for in successful foster carers?
In the successful foster carer, I would see a grounded, realistic and non-judgmental person, who is accepting of people from all walks of life. They should not expect a foster child to be grateful for all their hard work, but be prepared to give and give without expecting anything in return. They should also be resilient and have plenty of patience – not easily phased or offended. A sense of humour doesn’t hurt either!

What inspired you to work in fostering?
Working for a fostering agency means I can give something back and make a difference. It means I can do my best to ensure that foster carers provide a very high standard of care. It also entails working with carers to place vulnerable children in a family environment – one in which they’re not disregarded or seen as outsiders. I hope to bring a sense of normality, and of belonging to the lives of looked-after children.

If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?
I don’t need one – my hubby is my superhero!!

We hope this post helps you get to know us – that was Paula and Matilda! Keep your eyes open for the next part, where we’ll introduce more of our team.