Get in touch

“We feel very lucky to be part of their journey…”

Foster Carers, Mockingbird, Myth Busting, Support, Types of Care, Why choose us,

A selfie of foster carers Glynis & John huddled together and smiling

“We have primarily provided parent and child placements. We have found this a very rewarding role, and have seen parents flourish with a bit of support and guidance.”

 

Foster carers, Glynis (58) and John (64) provide short-term care of up to around six months for parents along with their child or baby, as well as teens, and children seeking safety and asylum.

 

 

Providing care for a vulnerable parent and their child

 

A parent and child placement involves both a child and their birth parent (or parents) living with you in your home, usually on a short term basis. Some parents need a little additional support, advice and some supervision while they develop their parenting skills including feeding, routines and interaction with the child. This could be due to their young age, concerns about their own self-care or wellbeing, living with learning difficulties, requiring a place of safety or simply that they don’t have any local family able to help.

 

Glynis added: “We stay in contact with most of the parents we care for and are able to see their children grow. We feel very lucky to be part of their journey.”

 

Glynis, who is a full-time carer, continued: “At the beginning they are usually unsettled and feel a bit out of place, but with time, care and support they begin to open up and feel comfortable. This is a great achievement for the child and for foster carers. When you turn a corner and feel you have gained their trust, they become open and allow you to be part of their life which is very rewarding.”

 

 

A pioneering model of foster care…

 

The couple, who have fostered for eight years and have two adult children of their own, recently joined one of our Mockingbird constellations.

 

Foster Portsmouth offer our foster carers an extensive range of round the clock support, including the pioneering, award-winning Mockingbird model of foster care. This wraparound support service prioritises placement stability by offering the relationships and vital additional support akin to an extended family, providing the chance for children to develop rapport with trusted adults and other young people in care.

 

The model’s ‘constellations’ consist of six to ten fostering families with a skilled foster carer serving as a specifically recruited and trained ‘hub carer’ at the centre offering vital peer support and guidance, as well as additional respite care in the form of sleepovers and social activities.

 

Our foster carers also benefit from excellent, local training and a competitive financial package made up of the recently increased allowances and skill fees – which reflects how highly we value our carers – and discounts and benefits. These enable our foster carers to concentrate on what matters most; the children and young people in our care.

 

Glynis commented: “There is lots of support, and foster carers all get to know each other at different events. Once you know the protocol, it is easy to access support at all times.”

 

“The financial package also enables the children in your care to participate in things that they may not always of had to opportunity to do, and live a better lifestyle.”

 

 

Making a difference to young lives…

 

John, who is in the building trade, and Glynis acknowledge there are challenges when you foster, including managing the child’s sadness, trauma, the changes in their lives and their issues with trust. However, they find that these are outweighed by, “…the rewards such as a child’s achievements and growth in a different environment.”

 

There are stubborn myths that persist around the fostering of teens in particular. They are often pigeonholed with descriptions such as grumpy, uncommunicative, noisy and messy; in short, hard work. However, if they do display any of these behaviours it is either typical teen behaviour all teenagers experience or they may be born of insecurity, fear and confusion. Sadly, these myths can prevent potential foster carers from applying or considering older children, ultimately denying these children a loving home. In fact, fostering teenagers is a unique opportunity to inspire the next generation and it is never too late to make a difference to these young lives.

 

 

Providing a secure home to children in need…

 

Glynis’s interest in fostering came from having worked in related fields, gaining valuable experience she has been able to bring to her role as a foster carer: “I worked in a homeless hostel and have worked with people with complex needs for 30 years. Fostering was probably always on my list of what I would like to do, and eight years ago, we found it was the right time for us.”

 

Another type of care the couple have provided have been to unaccompanied children seeking asylum. Due to instability in their home countries, the number travelling to the UK and seeking safety in the Portsmouth area continues to rise. These children, arriving as young as 12-years-old, are often fleeing war, disaster and poverty, have travelled hundreds of miles, have been separated from family through no fault of their own, and often speak little or no English. Providing them with a caring and secure home as they make their way in the world is hugely rewarding.

 

 

You’ll find the right types of foster care for you…

 

Anyone aged 21+ with a spare bedroom could foster with Foster Portsmouth regardless of their age, gender, faith, ethnicitysexualitymarital or work status, or whether they rent or own their own home.

 

Our foster carers – many of which continue to foster for many years – come from Portsmouth itself or the immediate surrounding areas, from Emsworth and Rowlands Castle to Gosport and Fareham, and Waterlooville and Petersfield to Havant and Hayling Island.

 

The council welcomes all enquiries about fostering. This could be a short or long-term arrangement for a child or siblings until they’re ready to live independently or be reunited with family, support for children with a disability or unaccompanied children seeking safety and asylumsupported lodgings to develop their independent living skills, a parent and child placement, or respite care.

 

Glynis ended: “If you’re passionate about making changes to a child’s life, then give it a go.”

 

 

Contact us for a chat or to have your queries answered…

 

To arrange a chat with an existing foster carer, to talk to our experienced fostering team or if you’re ready to make an initial enquiry, we’d love to hear from you: contact us.

Get in touch