Amanda and Martin have been foster carers for 10 years, mostly caring for older children and teenagers. They started out fostering with an independent fostering agency before moving to Fostering Rotherham 6 years ago. The couple were pleased with the support they received from Rotherham during the transfer and haven’t looked back since.
“It was a big plunge for us to do, but we don’t regret it.”
Making the decision to transfer to a local authority
Amanda and Martin worked with an independent fostering agency for around 4 years but started to feel that the focus of the agency had changed and that “it was more about the money than the welfare of the children.” They decided to find out more about working with a local authority.
The couple wanted to carry on doing therapeutic work with the children in their care and also make a difference in their local community. Fostering Rotherham has an excellent in-house Therapeutic Team and is committed to finding local homes for Rotherham’s children, so it felt like an ideal fit.
“By moving to Rotherham we could give back to the community”
Fostering older children
Martin and Amanda have mainly chosen to foster older children and their advice to anyone considering following in their footsteps is to be resilient because, as Martin says, “The biggest thing you can do for these kids is just be there for them.”
The couple also recommend finding support and friendship in Rotherham’s welcoming fostering community. “Your foster friends … make a difference. We have friends who foster teenagers, so they understand.” Amanda also praises Rotherham’s Mockingbird Hub, which provides peer support and connects local foster families together. Amanda says, “Mockingbird is great to create one big family, the kids know each other. You don’t tend to get that with IFAs.”
“Mockingbird is great to create one big family, the kids know each other. You don’t tend to get that with IFAs.”
The resilience and dedication shown by Martin and Amanda has paid off and they name their greatest achievement as seeing how the teenagers in their care can turn things around once they are given the right support.
“There’s nothing more rewarding because you see them blossom. You don’t see that with younger children because they’ve got such a journey to do before they can get to decide what they want. With the older ones you get that opportunity to give them independence and hopefully for them to be a part of your life”, says Martin.
And the relationship doesn’t always end when the placement does. They proudly give the example of one of their most recent teenage placements, who has shown great resilience herself, found work that she loves, and still returns home to the couple at weekends.
“There’s nothing more rewarding because you see them blossom. You don’t see that with younger children because they’ve got such a journey to do before they can get to decide what they want.”
Thinking about transferring to a local authority?
To any other people working with an independent foster care agency who are considering transferring, Martin advises going for it, “especially if you live in the Rotherham area. It’s an excellent community with excellent support. You won’t regret it. You do feel like you’re giving something back.”
Do you currently foster for an independent fostering agency and are interested in finding out more about transferring to Fostering Rotherham, just like Amanda and Martin? We’d love to chat to you. Visit our Transfer to Us page to book a call back.
Learn more about fostering in Rotherham
If you have any questions about fostering in Rotherham, book a call back with a member of our experienced team at a time that suits you. All our call backs are confidential.