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Food for Thought

Making a Difference Through Fostering: Sarah’s Story

In a heart-warming story of resilience and growth, Sarah has emerged from her challenges of her foster care experience to become a valuable member of Compass’ Panel team. Overcoming her initial lack of confidence and shyness, Sarah has not only found her voice, but is now making significant contributions to the decision-making process. Her journey from a foster child to a fostering advocate sheds light on the transformative power of empathy and lived experiences, which is the core of what we believe in at Compass.
A Story of Change

When Sarah initially joined Compass, she was often quite reserved. However, through the support of her team and her dedication to learning, Sarah has undergone a remarkable transformation. Her manager, Mark Thompson, notes her positive change, emphasising her impressive contributions during Panel sessions.

She has been praised for being attentive and perceptive, even surpassing the observations of seasoned professionals. Notably, an applicant expressed gratitude for Sarah’s engaging non-verbal communication, highlighting the profound impact she had on making them feel at ease.

From Foster Child to Foster Care Advocate

In an interview with us, Sarah shares a deeper insight into how her past as a foster child has influenced her personal and professional life today:

“My professional journey has shaped how I have parented differently to the normal way of having a traditional family. I didn’t have any of that growing up, so it was learning a whole new form of dynamic, which was difficult, but good for me.”

Sarah’s motivation to join the Fostering Panel stems from her personal connection to the system.

I was fostered by a lady who works for Compass, and I heard that they were looking for people who had been fostered before, so I thought it would be a great calling.”

As a care-experienced individual, Sarah brings a unique perspective to the Fostering Panel. Her ability to see things from the child’s viewpoint enables her to advocate for the needs and preferences of foster children. She emphasises the importance of addressing emotional damage and creating an environment where open communication is valued, allowing caregivers to understand and support the emotional well-being of the children in their care.

Healing Through Advocacy

To Sarah, her role as a Panel member is not merely a job, but a therapeutic process.

“Professionally, I feel like being on the panel is helping me grow, with things like my PTSD and stuff like that. It helps me to put some things to rest. I can now make more sense of things that I wasn’t able to before,” acknowledging the healing power that her involvement in the panel has brought to her life.

Above all else, Sarah stresses the importance of not letting a child’s voice go unheard in decisions that affect their lives, understanding that this happens more often than it should in care: “The child is the centre of it all. They’re the reason the meeting is being held.”


Make a real difference in a child’s life.

Changing Lives Through Fostering

Sarah’s story is a testament to the positive impact that fostering can have on a child’s life. From a tumultuous beginning, she found stability, security and love in the home of her foster parents. The bond they share is inspirational, with Sarah now referring to them as her parents and her children calling them grandparents.

Reflecting on her journey, Sarah recognises the challenges she faced during her time in care as valuable insights for assessing potential foster families. When assessing a foster carer at Panel, she always places herself in the shoes of the child that would be in their care, questioning whether they would feel safe or loved in their home. By showing that they can provide a supportive and understanding environment, Sarah knows that they can create a safe haven for foster children to thrive.

Every Child Matters

Sarah’s journey serves as a beacon of hope and an important reminder that every foster child deserves a chance at a stable, loving home. Her insights on the Panel show how vital it is for care experienced individuals to play a huge role in what we do at Compass, ensuring that every child has the potential to have a bright and happy future.

If you’re interested in making an active impact in the lives of children in care, please have a look at our Compass Fostering Careers page to find roles that are suited to your needs. Additionally, you can also become a foster carer with us by filling out our enquiry form, helping to shape the next generation of Sarahs and give a child a loving and supportive home.

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