In the run up to Foster Care Fortnight in May, our UK Fostering Foster Carers would like to share with you some of their fostering experiences, and about the support they have received to be able them to fulfil a challenging but rewarding role. Firstly we hear from Myra and Steve:
“It was the dream city break… 3 nights in the stunning city of Rome! Fab food, lovely weather. Our foster son was captivated, enjoying his school topic, the ‘Romans’, in glorious reality. But, on our return journey to the airport for our evening flight back, the spell was broken and the nightmare began…
We were robbed on the Metro, despite being seasoned travellers and having many conversations about staying safe: my handbag was taken, with all our passports, my driving licence, and my bank cards. As if in slow motion the reality of what that would mean gradually sank in: we were not going anywhere, any time soon.
I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty of the processes that you need to follow to get your hands on emergency documents for a Looked After Child stranded in another country. But, I WILL share the overwhelming relief of having the support of UK Fostering and the Local Authority whilst in a crisis.
We have fostered with UK Fostering for nearly 7 years now, and yet I have never felt more passionately about the value of crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s. We were completely vulnerable, in shock and feeling helpless, yet Julie and the team were with us through texts, emails and phone calls.
The build up to a trip away is hassle. Getting accommodation which is appropriate for your foster child is hassle. Getting the letter of authority to travel is super hassle. Proving you have travel insurance and communicating all the details is hassle – especially the 3rd and 4th time of asking. But, believe me, when you know that you have done everything in your power to prepare and facilitate a wonderful experience for your foster child, if it all goes wrong, help is at hand. It was thanks to this support that our foster son could wake up after 5 extra nights, in 5 different beds and be able to say ‘I think I have both happy and sad feelings about leaving Rome’!
Thank you Julie K, thank you Urs, and thank you to the wider team; you stood by us each step of the way and got us home.”
Myra & Steve, UK Fostering Foster Carers