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Fostering is a great service to humanity

Here at Foster Portsmouth, we have a varied range of foster carers to meet the needs of the children we care for. Roland, 62 has fostered as a single person with us for about four years and has worked with teenagers, between the ages of 14-18, the majority being unaccompanied children seeking safety and asylum from Africa and Asia.

Roland has always worked with young people in need of support and works as an Independent Social Worker alongside fostering with us.

Providing a helping hand

Among other traits such as the ability to manage your emotions and being non-judgemental, a caring nature is an essential characteristic that our assessing social workers will look for as part of the foster carer role.

Becoming a foster carer was a natural progression for Roland on a personal level due to his experience as a full-time social worker so he was aware of the fostering world, the families within it and its growing need for new carers to come forward.

Choosing Foster Portsmouth over other agencies was a no-brainer; he’d lived and worked in Portsmouth since 2001, so he knew the city, the people who live there, and the professionals who work tirelessly to protect the city’s vulnerable children and would eventually work with him rather than alongside him.

Speaking with friends who fostered with Foster Portsmouth and provided valuable insight and good comments about how we operate aided Roland in his fostering journey. If you don’t have any foster carers in your network and would like to speak with one of our foster carers for further information, please phone 023 9283 4071 or email fostering@portsmouthcc.gov.uk, and we’ll be pleased to arrange this.

Portsmouth based foster carer roland looks at the camera

Understanding myself more

The fostering assessment is usually the third step in an individual or couple’s fostering journey. After completing an initial enquiry form, we will send you a fostering information material to help you understand what fostering is and whether it is a good fit for you and your family. If you determine it is, that’s fantastic! We’ll organise an Independent Home Visit to assess your suitability for fostering and get some more basic information from you.

If at this stage all your questions have been answered and you’re in a position to foster, we’ll start the assessment process. This takes place over a few months and involves some deep diving into who you are as a person, both past and present. It involves talking to friends, family and others who know your character (such as an employer).

To get up to speed on the fostering assessment process read our five-minute blog: What to expect during a foster carer assessment process – Foster Portsmouth

Here’s what Roland had to say about our assessment process:

I knew what to expect of the assessment process from my work as a social worker, so it was straightforward and I felt prepared.

“On a personal level, I found the assessment process a useful activity to engage in. It helped me understand myself better, identify my strengths and weaknesses and above all, understand my relationships with other people in my life.

“It brought me a newfound freedom as I was able to revisit some dormant memories and feelings that I’d long forgotten about, take meaning from them, and process them in a way that was suitable. In my case, it was about making peace with the past.”

Portsmouth foster carer Roland shares a letter that one of the children he looked after left him

A lasting effect

Roland has many happy memories of the young people he has fostered over the years, and he notices that with each new young person he offers a safe space for, he grows as a person in a more positive way. Fostering allows foster carers to strengthen existing abilities and gain new ones that improve their lives, such as tolerance, understanding, patience, and forgiveness, as well as learning new ways to solve personal problems.

Roland talks fondly of his time as a foster carer and says: “It’s deeply rewarding to share your home or take care of a young person that’s not directly related to you. I consider it a great service to humanity.

“I have so many heart warming and comical memories of the young people I’ve fostered. One young man who usually struggled to wake up in the morning asked me to wake him up at 7 am. When I went to wake him up the next morning, he’d left a note on his door saying, ‘I’ve changed my mind, please wake me up at 8 am instead’. This made me chuckle at the time”.

“The best part of fostering for me is seeing the growth and positive changes in the young person. They’ve often travelled so far, for so long, and have encountered so many challenges that to know they feel safe in my home and are settled in a new place is amazing. When they leave my home, they always show appreciation, sometimes this is verbally, but some have left letters that I treasure forever.

Could you foster?

More people like Roland, who offers his heart and home to vulnerable young people are needed in Portsmouth.

We welcome foster carers from all backgrounds, regardless of nationality, relationship status, or religious beliefs.

There’s no upper age limit, and you don’t need to own a home. Prospective carers must be at least 21 years old, have a spare room, have some experience with young people, and have a lot of patience, resilience, and a positive outlook.

We offer our foster carers fantastic allowances for the children in their care, thorough training and continuing 24/7 support, access to the award-winning Mockingbird model of care, social activities, and free membership to The Fostering Network.

READ MORE ON WHY OUR FOSTER CARERS CHOOSE US

If you have further questions to ask, give us a call on 023 9283 4071, email us at fostering@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or fill out the form below, and a member of our team will answer any and all questions you may have.

    Start your fostering journey