Everyone deserves a place to call home. A place to feel safe, be loved and have the opportunity to grow. Fostering provides family based care for children and young people who cannot live with their parents or other family members. Its also important to note that everyone’s fostering journey is different.
This can be anything from an overnight stay or short break, to more long term placements. No two children are the same and neither is the care they need.
So what are Short Breaks?
Sometimes we could all do with a break. Respite and short breaks provide children with the chance to get some breathing space away from their family.
Short breaks or respite care can mean taking a child in overnight, at weekends or for a couple of weeks, often on a regular basis.
Short break providers become an extension to the child’s fostering family. They offer a holiday from everyday life and providing support when it is needed most.
So let’s hear from our very own respite foster carer from Caerphilly, as she reflects on her fostering journey so far.
My fostering Journey as a Short Break Foster Carer.
My husband and I have been respite foster carers for nearly 7 years, and I have to say it is the most rewarding job I have ever done.
I have a background in Social Services, working with older people, which in itself was very rewarding. However now that I’m a foster carer I think I have now found my happy place.
The children I care for have learning difficulties and a high level of medical needs. It can be frustrating and worrying at times but they are also great company, loving and funny.
I have watched them grow from 1-year-olds to 18-year-olds. They began with limited verbal and social skills but now are able to talk to me about topics that they are interested in. They make themselves cups of tea (with supervision) and bathing or dress independently.
I still meet the children who were in my care and after I have seen them, I regularly sit and reflect on how they were when they first came into my life. I see how much they have developed and grown up both physically and mentally.
It is a job that can be physically and mentally hard but it is a job I have never regretted doing.