Julie's Story - Parent and Child Fostering
02 May 2023
02 May 2023
We spoke to Parent and Child (P&C) foster carer Julie, who took up fostering 6 years ago after having her son and daughter-in-law stay with her throughout their first pregnancy, she loves the mother-child bond and wanted to help others have the same.
Julie explains “P&C fostering gives a struggling parent a chance to make some positive changes with support that they may not have accessed through their own family network. I embrace my ‘Mums’ into my family who also offers kindness and support.”
“I love that I help parents make positive changes and offer practical advice and support to ensure the right outcome for the babies in their care.” - Julie, Foster Carer
What made you decide to foster?
After many years of caring for my disabled daughter, I wanted a career. I had few academic qualifications, and after looking at my options and talking to my family I realised my strength was caring, and fostering seemed an ideal choice to fit in with my life. I later discovered that both of my grandmothers had fostered/adopted children showing that it must be in the blood!
Why did you choose Blue Sky Fostering?
Blue Sky offered more support and as a new carer, I felt I needed that extra help with training, support, advice, and guidance. Blue Sky offers a really individual package of support, regular supervision meetings, updates, core carers support meetings, buddies for new carers, group activities and outings, and a true ‘family feel’.
How does P&C Fostering differ from other types of fostering?
I went almost immediately into P&C fostering as I was attracted to the 12-week assessment periods with a break in between placements in comparison to long-term fostering. My experience is that the 12 weeks are not realistically viable, and my placements have been between 5 and 12 months. I have had young children on fostering respite, and the dynamic is very different. When undertaking a P&C placement sometimes you are parenting the parent more than the child, trying to forge a bond so they can care for their baby in the best way.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of P&C fostering?
I have enjoyed seeing parents flourish and gain confidence. Even when the outcome is not the desired one, I have been able to see some positives in passing on coping mechanisms, and life skills. It is lovely to have young babies and children in my house and to have the privilege of watching them grow and develop.
What advice would you give to people thinking about becoming a P&C foster carer?
I would suggest that people do their research to ensure that P&C fostering would fit in with their lifestyle. It can be an extremely intensive situation and it would not suit everyone. However, the rewards are incredible with the right match! And Blue Sky always attempt to find a placement they feel is right. Talk to other carers, follow support groups on social media, access all the training on offer, and enjoy!
02 May 2023