Follow Jenna’s journey as she documents her way to becoming a foster parent. This week, Jenna talks about what March looks like, as the agency starts their assessment and Jenna starts to prepare for the training.
After Sarah’s insightful visit last month, my journey towards fostering has truly begun! The next steps involved delving deeper into the assessment process and preparing for the training ahead with Changing Futures Fostering. Let me take you through what that entailed.
Now that we’ve done the home visit, I’ve submitted my application (eek!). It’s time for the fostering assessment. Sarah explained that this is a process where the agency aims to gain a full understanding of my life, experiences, motivations, and suitability to become a foster parent. Initially, the thought of being assessed can be daunting, but Sarah reassured me that it’s all about ensuring the best match between foster parent and child.
Mark, the assessing social worker, has become my main point of contact, offering support and answering any questions I had as the assessment got underway. Having someone to rely on throughout this journey is really important, especially when navigating unfamiliar territory.
The assessment itself is thorough, covering areas such as your background, family life, relationships, health, and support network. It’s to make sure that I am equipped to provide a safe, stable, and nurturing environment for the children in your care. While it may seem intrusive at times, I quickly realised its importance in ensuring the well-being of vulnerable children.
In the meantime, I’ve been having a look at the training programme Changing Futures offers in preparation for becoming a foster parent. The agency has a strong focus on ‘therapeutic’ fostering and has designed its training programme entirely around this idea.
At first, I didn’t know much about what therapeutic fostering was. When I was reading about this approach on their website, I found it all fascinating. They’ve designed their training sessions with local families and young people who have experienced care. I think that it’s brilliant they’ve listened to people who have been a part of foster families and care as a whole. I think that element will help give me a really unique and valuable perspective. I quite like the idea of becoming a therapeutic foster parent.
So far, the support from Changing Futures Fostering has been brilliant. Mark and Sarah have been great at putting me at ease and letting me know what the next steps are. Knowing that you’re part of a supportive community makes the journey feel less daunting.