At SFS we are particularly proud of our foster carers. Their endless passion and commitment to caring for vulnerable children never ceases to impress us.
One such carer is Rose , who has been a foster carer for teenage boys for over 14 years.
“It’s a good life. You get involved in all sorts of things!”. Rose
Having worked as an LSA in a local secondary school, she found that she enjoyed supporting young people with challenging behaviour. She also has a birth son, Ryan, who she thought was at the right age to share her. This, and the fact that having Ryan meant that she knew how to get the best out of teenage boys led her to look into being a foster carer for this age group.
“You need to be a good judge of character, know how and when to discipline. But seeing these boys develop, change, relax, become less scared, grow, even use the washing machine. This is why I foster. I love to hear them open up to each other, and talk about their lives.”
Rose also feels she benefits personally with the challenge of raising boys:
“Every child that comes along brings something new. If you’re open minded enough, where else can you experience such cultural differences?
They make me challenge myself. My drive is to show them as much of the world as I can. Why not get up early and take a daytrip to France, or book a boat ride down the Thames? They’ve changed my life in a fun way and I hope that’s what I give them in return.”
This hands-on and energetic approach is the key to Rose’s success as a foster carer. So much so that she not only fosters teenagers, but continues to care for a young man with autism that she has cared for since her fostering journey began. He is now 24 years old and has been part of the family since he arrived aged 10.
“My best friend has an autistic son, so when I was offered the chance of fostering a 10 year old autistic boy I jumped at the chance”.
Her birth son Ryan is particularly close to him and when growing up, made sure his mum bought them the same clothes and trainers so that he would fit in and look like the other kids his age. Ryan’s friends would also help, and they would all play for hours.
Rose has never had a holiday without him since he joined the family, and has flown him to Disneyland Florida, or taken train journeys with him to the South of France, and relaxed on the beaches in Cyprus. This young man is a significant part of the household and all other young people that Rose has cared for over the years have always accepted and often protected him whatever issues Rose was helping them with.
“Having foster kids teaches everyone to be more accepting of others.” says Rose
Of course, Rose insists that having a good sense of humour is essential when looking after teenage boys, and enjoys it when they come back to stay when they live independently, especially at Xmas time. I can be tired and weary then realise that the house is quiet. Having them around livens everything up. The boys are always funny, even when grumpy. They eat like locusts, you fill a trolley of food and within minutes of getting it home its gone.”
Rose talks of the importance of support and that SFS is a very supportive community. There are opportunities to attend coffee mornings that SFS hold, or held in other carers homes.
“I couldn’t foster alone. They are the only people you can really talk to in confidence, and the only people that really understand what your life is like. We all have a funny sense of humour and are up for trying anything. We are a very resourceful group.”
One thing that Rose mentions in particular is the importance of matching the child to carer, carers need to make an informed choice and need all the information shared with them. SFS are very skilled in matching children to carers skills and this is evidenced with the young man that still lives with her.
“Feeling like you are always supported and part of a team is crucial. SFS is an example of how fostering should be.”
Thank you Rose you are one in a million!
If you are interested in fostering visit our homepage www.fostering.com 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.