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Fostering Stories

Therapeutic - so what does that mean?


The word therapeutic is one of those interesting words, intrinsically making us feel safe and secure.  It is a word that wraps itself around you, falls from your lips with the promise of making things well.  It is a word that offers peace without conflict, healing without pain, love without hate.

When is a carrot not orange enough?


Despite all best practice and preparations there are just some things that swing in from left of field at the start of a fostering career and make it into the true challenge that it is.  We coped, even though we say so ourselves, admirably with being sized up with suspicion, the outright objections and being told how much evil would be visited upon us in the days to come.   These were, after all, early days.

Warlords, Gaylord's and idiots


Language is something we use everyday.  Acknowledged or not, it is also an important code of social conduct.  It is also something on which we quickly tore up the rule book when we became foster parents.

I’d been a step-mum with live-in step-sons for almost a decade when I started fostering.  I was never concerned about what I was called or known as as far as the boys were concerned – if they were happy, then all was fine.  Fostering was a little more colourful than that!

How fortunate we are


Looking over some paperwork I found the note printed in italics below, also under the “About” section on this blog site.  I wanted to republish it ….. it is truer today than when first written.  It describes how foster caring has changed us and what we hope we continue to work towards achieving.  We began our fostering journey by considering the benefits we would bestow.  Arrogant really; little did we know what a positive return we ourselves would receive.  Apologies for the sentiment, but it is very real… goes – repeat publishing:!

Cut loose and bewildered


A story of curly roads, stony beaches and lessons learnt!


The first utterance of “don't like” happened 30 miles into our 170 mile trip to Devon.  Our child (pseudonym Charlie from here on in) did not like fast motorways.  Reassuring him that the 24 ft touring caravan would prevent us hurtling beyond 55 mph left us thinking no more of the “don't like” utterance.

Let's go all chameleon


Chameleons, contrary to popular belief, do not automatically change colour to match their background.  This is a gift they reserve in response to changes in light, temperature, when fearful or amorous and needing the affections of the opposite sex.  You see, they do not change to hide; neither do they change to meet every need or circumstance.  Unlike human beings, who appear predisposed with a need to please others through convention and social nicety, chameleons only change in circumstances critical to their well-being or survival.

Lessons from the Velveteen Rabbit


I am really not sure which bits of love and perseverance work, but I do feel that in combination they are infinitely more powerful than money and politics. Best of all they are free, and the most powerful tools in our parenting artillery.


The combination of love, patience and perseverance are, I feel, beautifully portrayed in one of my favourite books, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.  It tells the story of a stuffed rabbit and his journey to become real through the love of his owner. Written in 1922, the book has never dated and has been republished many times.  It has played a significant role in our lives – the following being the reading at our wedding several years ago.  Little did we know then that the words would be so relevant to our life as foster parents.  Hope you like it too…..

I see what you say...


As a therapeutic foster carer there are many things to learn, lots of new paths to tread, lots of unexpected trip wires and lots of chances to learn that are outside the “norm”.  One such opportunity we found ourselves faced with at the start of placement was watching Charlie when he spoke, rather than hearing what he said.  We learnt a lot more by watching than we did by listening to him at the outset.   This was not always because of what he said but rather- as any self-respecting woman would have you believe – because of the way that he said it!

Keeping it mainstream


Charlie is charming, bright, intelligent, and articulate.  Charlie’s ability can inspire and excite – it is full of possibilities.  His ability allows him to see situations three-dimensionally, it permits him to form ideas and opinions and exercise colourful self-expression.  It allows Charlie to engage intellectually without effort and enjoy the benefits of a vivid and technicolour imagination through which he can transport himself instantaneously into a different world.  In this world Charlie is strong, Charlie is vibrant and Charlie is a conqueror.

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