We know that making the decision to become a foster carer isn’t one that you make on a whim. So that’s why at Compass we make sure to give everyone a chance to come into assessment with us as long as they meet our main requirements.
Being a foster carer isn’t about being the perfect person or parent, and we won’t expect you to superhuman (but we’ll see you as a superhero!)
We spoke to some of our brilliant foster parents to hear about their first-hand experience when they thought that they might not have made it to being a carer with us. Take a look at their stories below:
Small Children or Teens? Challenging Choices: Alicia and James’ Story
Our amazing 17-year-old foster daughter has been with us for over 6 months now, she recently turned 18, so we have now switched to a Staying Put placement & as she’s going to university later this year, we will provide supported lodgings for the duration of her studies, so that she knows she has our family support & can return home to us whenever she wants to at weekends & during the university holidays. There is no doubt that our placement together was meant to be!
When foster carers Alicia and James began their fostering journey, they felt that they would be out of their depth by fostering teenagers, as they had never raised children of their own.
The couple said they would like to look after young children. With many IFAs, the couple would be told to connect with a Local Authority as they find families for mostly young children.
We listened to the two of them, their views, their worries, and their questions and worked with them to review their ideals. One of our Compass Carer Support Champions helped the couple to consider a range of other factors like specific needs and circumstances of each child before deciding on suitability of the young people they’d be looking after. “We are so happy that we looked at every aspect of looking after a young person rather than only focusing on physical age!”
“There is no doubt that our placement together was meant to be!”
“Our amazing 17-year-old foster daughter has been with us for over 6 months now, she recently turned 18, so we have now switched to a Staying Put placement and as she’s going to university later this year, she knows she has our family support & can return home to us whenever she wants to at weekends & during the university holidays.”
Working 9 to 5: Matthew and Daryl’s Story
Matthew and Daryl both worked full time before they became foster carers. Generally speaking, because of this they would have been screened out of the assessment process much earlier if we didn’t see their potential to change a child’s life. “Our Fostering journey began back in January 2020 when friends of ours put us in touch with Compass and suggested we give them a call and show our interest. Within 2 weeks we met our assessment social worker Chelsea, and it all went from there.”
3 months after being approved following our rigorous assessment process, Matt and Daryl got the call every foster carer is expecting: their first long term foster child needed our help, and they were ready.
Many people asked the couple how they would juggle their busy full time working lives around a child. “Our simple answer to them all was, “if the rest of the world can do it, then so can we! You do find yourself thinking “can this work?” You adjust your lifestyle and make changes here and there until it works. 9 months later we absolutely love being foster parents and feel like our child has always been here.”
“Being a same sex couple made no difference in the slightest to whether we would be successful foster parents or not. In fact, it made us even more determined to show others that we could do it.”
Many LGBT+ couples are hesitant to apply to become foster carers, worrying that they will face unfair judgement or prejudice. At Compass we want to make everyone feel valued and welcome, that’s why we ensure that we provided extra support to our foster carers, staff, and foster carers during their application process with us through New Family Social.
“We’ve had amazing support from our families and friends, each and every one of them have all said what a wonderful little family we all make and what an amazing difference we are both making to our child’s upbringing.”
“We personally feel that Compass couldn’t have matched us any better if they’d tried and we will be forever thankful to them.”
As an Independent Fostering Agency, we never want to be too quick to judge. We have a detailed and rigorous assessment process that is in place, so our young people are well looked after and safe with our foster families. So many people have the ability and drive to work around the kinds of barriers that could be in place, and Compass can help them on the way and be as accommodating as we can.
Please get in touch with us to find out more about becoming a foster carer. Compass want to be the fostering agency that sees everyone’s potential and you could be the next foster carer to make an amazing difference.