Meet the Foster Carers

Julie's story

Fostering and adoption

Initially Julie and her husband were approved to offer time limited foster placements and respite for up to 3 primary school age children.  Their time limited placements have varied in length from 2 years to just one week.  But six years ago they took on a long term foster placement and she has been part of the family ever since.  "She is no different to my two girls," says Julie.  "She comes on holiday with us and is treated the same by the rest of the family.  She will stay with us for as long as she needs."

Julie helps their foster child to keep in contact with her birth family.  She meets up with her Dad regularly and Julie picks her up afterwards.  "It's important that foster children can see you getting on with their birth family," Julie explains. 

With contact and meetings to manage on top of her daytime work, Julie stresses the importance of being organised and having flexible work arrangements.  Her job is part-time and some of her hours are term time only.  Julie works with young children who have additional needs.  "We provide a service called Portage ," explains Julie. "It involves working with children and their parents at home.  We focus on what the children are able to do, not what they can't do, and help the family to learn together." 

Being able to see the positive in a situation is a quality which also stands Julie in good stead as a foster carer.  "It helps if you are flexible and have a sense of humour too," she smiles, adding that fostering can be "challenging and stressful" at times.  "You have to go into it with your eyes open.  We are looking after children who have had difficult life experiences.  Their emotions have to come out - either with you at home or at school."   Julie recounts how one girl they fostered used to climb onto the roof at her school and goad people.  "The school used to call me to come and sort it out," she recalls.

In these kinds of situations Julie knows she can rely on support from husband. "I couldn't have done it if we weren't both in this together," says Julie.  "When things get stressful we help each other.  And my colleagues are really understanding and supportive if I need to let off steam."

Help is also on hand from both sets of families who live close by and from the Fostering Service.  Julie has a supervising social worker with whom she is in regular contact to discuss her placements.  In addition, the Fostering Service provides training for all approved foster carers.  Most of the courses are available online which allows carers like Julie to fit the training around work. "It's great," enthuses Julie, "and means I can do the training in the evening or at weekends without having to take time off work."

Julie is modest about the impact that she and her husband have had on the lives of the children they have fostered.  "You hope, along the line, that you've made a difference," she says.  But their approach to fostering has clearly struck a chord with next door neighbours, now close friends, who have also decided to become foster carers.

So what is Julie's advice to people who are thinking about fostering?  "It can be very rewarding," she says.   "If you're interested, give the Recruitment team a call.  You could make a real difference."

Fostering Service (recruitment)

Open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 024 7683 2828

Visit: http://www.coventry.gov.uk/fostering

P.O. Box 15
Council House
Coventry
CV1 5RR
Fostering brochure

If you'd like a printed copy of our brochure, please call 024 7683 2828.

Download our Fostering pack

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