Here at SFS we thought it about time we celebrated the many brilliant foster carers that we’ve been lucky enough to work with over the years. Our carers are as diverse and brilliant as the children we support. It shows that anyone from any walk of life can be a foster carer.
First up is the amazing and inspirational Lizzy, who’s decision to foster as a single young woman changed not only the child’s but her own life also.
Lizzy first came to an open day at SFS at the age of 31, 7 years ago.
At the time, she was working as a registered nurse with adults with learning difficulties, and felt that she could offer something unique as a foster carer.
Throughout her training and career as a nurse, Lizzy had an overwhelming feeling that parents and children/young adults needed support much earlier than when she was intervening in adult placements. This is what Lizzy was determined to be able to offer – hence walking into our office!
Being particularly interested in autism and the skills that were evident throughout her assessment, we were lucky enough to be able to match a child with autism with Lizzy – quite something for a first time single young foster carer!
Initially the 6 year old in her care was unable to speak, screamed a lot and was scared of his own voice, but Lizzy’s patience and knowledge, along with a bit of humour got him on the right track.
Often the best way to engage him is to deliberately get things wrong, he will laugh and correct you in both speech and activities. He thinks this is hilarious.
I had to teach him to react to things, so we did a lot of roleplay games in the early days and this helped him to express his feelings. Another thing that worked brilliantly was the Talking Tom app which helped him enormously with his speech!
7 years later and at the age of 11, he now is a very keen You Tuber with over 100 subscribers and a fully fledged computer geek. He is settled in a great secondary school and is thriving.
Lizzy has now got an MSC in autism and has great plans having started an organisation with some colleagues that supports, consults and trains in her areas of expertise.
We all at SFS are so proud to have united these two and watch them flourish together.
If you are interested in fostering, you can find more information on the process on our Become a Foster Carer page – or contact us on 02920 460 004. We provide complete training and support to all our carers, so that they can be their most effective when helping our children. Please see below a list of helpful resources should you need further information on caring for children with autism:
- National Autistic Society – The UK’s primary autism charity, offering a broad range of information and advice, as well as a confidential helpline.
- NHS autism support groups hub – The NHS’s autism support hub, which can help families find support groups and services in their local area.
- Child Autism UK – The UK’s largest dedicated charity for children with autism, offering a range of support guides and advice for children and their families.
- Resources for Autism – A registered charity which aims to provide practical services for children and young people with autism.