Recently, we spoke to foster carer Dianne about her experience as a foster carer with Fostering Rotherham.
As a single person, Dianne has found that being part of the Fostering Rotherham community has led to a thriving network of supportive friends and colleagues.
Dianne has been a foster carer for three years, and combines this with her work as a teaching assistant in a local school. You can read more about how Dianne manages these two important parts of her life here.
Finding friendship through fostering
Dianne recalls that one of the reasons she decided to become a foster carer was that, as a single person, she was eager to meet more people. She remembers wanting “to broaden my friendship groups and get to meet new people, because being single, it's difficult, you know, especially with lockdown and everything else. It's been good, I've met loads of nice people.”
Dianne’s foster carer friends provide regular support for each other, particularly those who live nearby. This includes helping with childcare in cases of school absence due to illness or just meeting up for a friendly chat.
Soon after becoming a foster carer, Dianne attended a youth club for Fostering Rotherham carers and looked after children, which is run by Mockingbird Hub leader, Michelle, and she remembers that, “I just went to meet other people really and got close to quite a few people there.” Dianne then went on to join her local Mockingbird Hub.
Mockingbird Hubs offer support for foster carers and the children in their care. They consist of a central household, the home of an experienced foster carer, which supports a number of other foster carer families.
Dianne has found the group to be a great source of support and encouragement and says, “I'm very close with the people there and you know, they're lovely people and it's nice to have the support. It's really good.”
Dianne has drawn on these strong friendships when caring for children who needed extra help with their behaviour. She finds that, “when you're in the Hub, you know, you can say a little bit more because we know who you're talking about and you know who everyone is.”
Dianne is planning on returning to the youth club to access some therapeutic training, which is one of the many locally based training opportunities provided for foster carers by Fostering Rotherham. As well as looking forward to gaining more skills to help her with her role, Dianne is also excited to be meeting up with her friends again.
“I'm very close with the people there and you know, they're lovely people and it's nice to have the support. It's really good.”
The difference a foster carer can make
Not only has Dianne enjoyed being part of our caring community, she has also helped to extend that care to others by rallying everyone to help out in exceptional circumstances.
One of Dianne’s most precious memories is of supporting a woman who had moved from London at Christmas while heavily pregnant. Dianne cared for her older daughter while mum went into hospital to give birth, and even ended up supporting her through her labour.
Dianne remembers that, “They didn't have anything because it was so near Christmas when she was due. There were no presents, no tree, no nothing, so we made hampers, got furniture - it all just happened like magic. It was so lovely, it was the best ever. I'm still in touch with Nancy and Daisy, they are beautiful children.”
Dianne says that she still feels emotional when she thinks of ”the look on little Daisy's face at Christmas and mum's face and how they cried when they got presents… and the fact that everybody had just rallied round and we became a community.”
Join your local foster carer community
Has Dianne’s story inspired you to find out more about our caring community? Why not book a call and have a quick chat with one of our lovely fostering advisers? They’ll happily answer any questions you have and tell you a little more about Fostering Rotherham.
All names have been changed for safeguarding purposes.
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.