Hi my name is Georgia! I am 49 years old and moved to County Durham 6 years ago to start a job in the NHS. I am single and have two teenage children. We used to live in South Africa but moved back to England in 2013 and I love being back. We are an active family who love rugby, surfing and travelling!
I had always wanted to foster and used to work for social services as a support worker back when I was in my early twenties so I have a feel for caring for others and it never left me. Having had children it is easy to transfer that desire to care to children and after my divorce I knew I needed a complete change. I was unhappy in my job as it felt pretty mundane and more about paperwork than people work. So in 2020 when I developed a neck injury I thought it was a time to change - leave the role I was currently in and apply to foster.
Choosing to Foster with Changing Futures
I had been looking around at other Agencies, their processes and then contacted Changing Futures. I had been researching about private, profit making agencies and I knew it was important to me to enquire with an Agency that was not for profit. Changing Futures were so quick to respond to me and chat all about the fostering process. It was a very friendly and relaxed approach which put me at ease.
*Not for Profit Vs Private Agencies*
Some fostering agencies are private, profit making organisations. That means any surplus they make can go into things like pay rises and 'flashier' offices.
Not for profit Agencies invest any surplus they make back into the organisation. It simply means that our Agency, which is entirely owned by a charity invests every penny, any surplus back into helping local children and families. Which is morally how it should be.
How was the Training?
It was a pretty intense which was comforting, I felt I could offer a lot but I still knew there are so many areas where I needed to learn more. The difference in CFF is that they focus on therapeutic parenting approaches and that for me was amazing! For children who have suffered a trauma for them to heal a therapeutic foster parent is needed. I understood this throughout the training and was supported to develop practical skills that means I can help a young person who may have had a rough time of it. The training was led by the registered manager and a child psychotherapist who between them had so much experience,knowledge and expertise. I felt as if I came away having learned so much. I also had chance to meet other applicants and of course chatting and learning together was fun.
I'm looking forward to having time.... I felt in particular with my previous job I had no time for the really important things in life - family, travel, experiences. I was doing the 9 to 5 grind (plus many more hours on top) and really not experiencing life. For me that was simply depressing and working in a busy open plan, grey office was definitely not my idea of how I wanted to spend my precious life. So fostering gives me time to be with my children and other people. Time off during the day and working is a joy as it runs alongside my family life... what more could you want if you are family orientated. We have so many plans as a family now which on 20 days off annual leave in my last jo, simply would never be more than a dream. Now I can take the kids away for holidays, trips etc when they are off school. The benefits are enormous and my children benefit from these and countless other new experiences and having a new addition to add a new dynamic to the family. I feel this is important as I wanted my children to understand diversity and difference and this is definitely experienced by having fostering in our lives.
If you are considering fostering then don't hold back.. the benefits are huge... if you are family orientated and live your life for your kids then this is a perfect way to live and work. Freedom and the chance to make a difference in the world are the key components to this. Changing Futures will support you - I can pick up the phone any time of the day and chat through any issues with a trained individual who I've got to rely on and know really well. Her support means so much to me and you definitely wont find yourself alone.