I want you to cast your mind back to when you were eight years old. Try to recall your family life and how you were as a young person. Take your time, really try and remember how things were. Now imagine two complete strangers arriving at your house and they tell you that you can no longer be with your family. They take you away! The decision isn’t yours and you have no control over it. How would you feel? …Frightened, confused, angry?
Now imagine trying to settle into that new home surrounded by strangers where everything is different. It wouldn’t be easy, would it? Foster carers need to have lots of skills to help children rebuild their lives and although it isn’t an easy job it is surely one of the most rewarding. That is why I was so pleased to attend some recent training hosted by ISP : Integrated Service Programme. The training, called Skills to Foster, is designed to upskill potential applicants.
Most foster children are leaving homes that are troubled and turbulent but that doesn’t mean they want to go. Even if a family is extremely disfunctional, it is still yours and familiar to you. Trying to help these children deal with their pasts and move on with their future is no easy task but if you think you can do it, you should. To be able to say you became a parent figure and changed somebody’s life for the better would be a wonderful achievement.
ISP are a very good company and they deliver training that gives you enough insight to decide whether fostering is something that would suit you. You get well paid to be a foster carer but let’s be honest, you have to want to do it for the right reasons. The two gentlemen that presented the training told us heartwarming stories about the positive impact on young people they have had through their experiences of fostering. They also told us some of the difficulties and hardships they have faced but both agreed the good far outweighed the bad.
Do I think fostering is worthwhile, of course I do. Attending the training actually made me strongly consider if this would be an option for me in the future, my teaching background would certainly help. If you are in a position that means you could consider fostering, I urge you to do so. I would recommend contacting ISP via their website if you would like more information.
Children should be loved and protected. This could be the best decision you ever make.