Interview about what it's like to foster

Jane and her husband Mark applied to foster for Barnet in 2007 and have been fostering since. They have cared for in excess of 16 children, between the ages of 0 to 18.

Jane and Mark talk about Fostering in Barnet

How did you first become a foster carer

Growing up, my parents fostered and living in a fostering household made it something that I always wanted to do. The timing felt right for me when the company I was working for were offering voluntary redundancy, so I took it and used the opportunity to pursue fostering. 

What made you choose Barnet Fostering

We decided to apply to Barnet as we lived in the borough and had proactive positive interactions and experience working with their recruitment team from day one. It is also great as we are local to the schools, training and contact centres. 

What was the assessment process like for you

The assessment process was 10 months start to finish, we had a nice assessing social worker who got to know us very well during what was a thorough, in depth and at times quite an intrusive assessment process. I understood why it had to be this way but it was difficult at times, as we spoke a lot about everything, things you wouldn’t usually talk about with people but we saw it through and have since enjoyed 12 years of fostering amazing children.

Once a child was identified, what was this process like for you and how did you prepare for the child coming home

Receiving the news that a child had been identified for us for the first time was very exciting (and is to this day), but also had mixed feelings of sadness knowing a child has been separated from their family. We like to prepare the bedroom in advance where possible for the age/gender of the child changing posters and bedding making it as welcoming as possible and get in any treats we think they might like. 

What were the challenges of the children settling in and how did you overcome these

We had a sibling group, aged 1 and 3 for our first placement who when my husband came into the room used to run and hide under the bed. So we had to be very patient and make them feel as comfortable as possible, until they felt safe. We also had to consider our birth children’s feelings to ensure they were supported and comfortable with fostering and sharing their parents.  

What post support have you received

The training has been brilliant, BAFCA and Support groups have been good too. We have a good relationship with our supervising social worker. Any time we have had an issue we have been able to ring up Barnet and this has been resolved.

What have you enjoyed the most about fostering

The best thing about fostering is knowing that you have made a difference. It is about being a stop gap between things not going very well and helping them move towards something better. It has been lovely seeing children go home or on to be adopted and with our current foster child watching him grow up knowing that we are guiding him the best we can. Our birth children have benefited too, what they have shared they have also very much gained. They are a lot more appreciative of what they have had growing up, having worked in an office job for 18 years I feel much more fulfilled. 

Contact us

Tel: 020 8359 6274