What does foster care mean?
To foster care you provide a family life for children who are unable to live with their own parents.
Across the UK, foster carers open their hearts and homes to children in need of love, care and attention. Sara has been a long time foster carer for Progress and spoke to us about what foster care means for her.
Foster care isn’t like raising your own children no matter what anyone tries to convince you. Your own children haven’t felt themselves lost into a world they hadn’t created or asked for. A world they aren’t to blame for.
This was the world my foster son couldn’t trust, from the moment he moved in he was scared every time he left the house. Scared he would be moving again, scared he wouldn’t be coming home.
It took time, understanding and a whole load of patience to build his trust. Most of the time, we would go out of the home, to one place then back. Just building the reassurance that yes, he would be coming home.
A visit to the shops then home.
A visit to relatives then home.
School then home.
No detours, just home.
This took time, in fact this took months but I never forget the day when after eating lunch out I asked if he wanted to go home and he signed later. He then asked if we could visit with family. I double checked, I tripled checked but he still replied later.
It may not seem a lot but in that moment, I knew he trusted us. He trusted in us and he felt safe. I didn’t let him see the emotion in me but I promise I could have cried.
Being a foster carer involves many different things but one of the most important to me is making sure a child feels safe and secure and trusts in me as a carer.
This was that moment and I remember it like yesterday.
“Home later, but home”