Wednesday, June 10, 2020

THINKING OF FOSTERING?

So. I've been thinking back to the time when I was wondering about whether to foster.

It first crossed my mind way back as a child when I saw something on TV about some children that were fostered. It was quite a revelation to me, nobody (as far as I knew) at any of the schools I'd attended were fostered. If they were it may have been kept a secret; not that long ago there were stigmas attached to things that nowadays are everyday - thank goodness.

Nevertheless fostering didn't actually ring bells for me, but I learned that fostering was something some people could do.

Several years later I got a summer job working in an adventure playground with kids, mostly teenage lads, many of whom had things going on. They didn't blab about their negatives, they came to the club to get away from their troubles and be the people they wanted to be rather than the people their home lives were forcing them to be.

They hinted that maybe their dad had left home, or that mum was out every night. I got to learn whose family was in trouble with the police, which kids were unhappy and why. When they tried sneaking tins of beer into the clubhouse, those sort of things, I learned how to keep kids on the straight and narrow without losing their trust and friendship. I got to thinking fostering was something I could do.

At each of these times I had no idea what fostering was actually like, and looking back, that was the reason I kept putting it on hold.

My main worry was simply that I wouldn't be considered good enough. I even imagined being scoffed at for having the gall to ask about it. I didn't know anyone who fostered and my friends and the people I worked with were all a bit like me so I must have imagined that somewhere else existed men and women who were more special than I was, and they were the ones allowed to foster.

I ended up doing a course to become a teacher but schools weren't for me. Many of today's teachers work closely with their pupils, if teaching had been like that back when I was thinking about it I'd maybe have become a teacher.

When I was going through the application process to become a foster parent I was asked at panel "Why did you give up teaching?" and I replied "I haven't, I just don't teach in schools. I'm teaching all the time. Come to think of it I'm teaching now…"

Fostering calls for all the skills the foster parent has aquired in life to be brought together to help with every fostering moment.

Try for it, give it a go, it could turn out to be the best thing you ever did.

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