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Day in the life of a female foster carer 20th July

Background
My name is Tabatha and I have been a foster carer for 6 years.

The young people I have been privileged to meet have often been hugely affected by their life experiences and just want to feel safe. It is fascinating to see what they develop into when you assist them to find their voice! The results may not always be what you like, as they normally need to work through a lot of anger.
Since working for the Compass Group, I have provided a long term home for two sets of siblings, have offered respite for various young people and have supported two young people who were not in main stream schooling to return.

We are proud to be foster carers!
 

Monday 20th July

I’ve mentioned the importance of matching before but I’m ever grateful to the person who linked us with G. We organised a trip to a caravan and I was committed to another activity which meant that I left my partner and G together. It’s fair to say they like very different things to me…

I arrived back at 6pm to hear all about the amazing adventures that they had with an ordinance survey map and 5 and a half hours of time to walk it. G was bursting with all of the birds, flowers and animals they had seen, it sounded amazing! When I checked the map they had walked 3 times as far as they needed to and had clocked up about 8 miles which is 6 miles more than I could achieve. G pointed out that she had noticed three benches that I could have sat on and cried (both know me too well)!

G voiced her relief that my partner is good at packing snacks as well, they had clearly packed for all eventualities and scoffed everything on their stroll.

When we started to foster we decided to have rituals that we stuck to which would make anything out of the routine easier to deal with. We made a pact with all of our placements that on holiday days they can expect one ice cream a day and if we are away for a weekend or week then they get double pocket money as spending money to buy other treats with. We supply rock and rubbers etc. for friends and they need their own cash for any extras. This is a great way of building trust and setting boundaries, making them responsible for money and understanding the value of things.

We have even let the young people handle the budget but this did not work as they wanted to go to the amusements and we were not going to be fed until I intervened.

I met up with a previous placement this week and she was telling G all about the rules when she lived at our house 3 years ago. After quizzing each other they were both satisfied that they were treated equally by us. It’s fascinating that there is an expectation of fairness between them all, even if they have not been accommodated by us at the same time. They all want the same treatment; it’s like observing a game of top trumps (“I was allowed this……. I am too!”)

It makes us smile when the older ex placements still feel included as they know exactly what the younger ones are talking about and the traditions of the household. We have pictures up of our previous children and talk about them a lot, we figure that helps with everyone accepting each other and makes the coming together of all of them easier!