How Mel and Jamie became foster carers in Rotherham
Mel and Jamie have a 15 year old daughter and had been considering fostering for a number of years, but the timing was never quite right. Mel then became a full-time carer for her mother who was diagnosed with cancer.
Sadly, Mel’s mother passed away, and six months after the death of Mel’s mother, the family thought that it was the right time to look into fostering.
From the very first time Mel contacted Rotherham Council, she felt at ease. The first person she spoke to on the telephone was “warm, welcoming and very helpful”, this immediately reassured Mel.
Jamie works full-time but he was fully part of the fostering process. Due to Jamie’s working pattern, the allocated social worker would work around them and visit when everyone was present. This way, the whole family, including their 15 year old daughter, felt fully involved in their fostering journey. They were all incredibly excited to start fostering!
“The allocated worker was so nice and warm, she supported us every step of the way.”
Mel’s best friend is a foster carer and this provided her with some good insight into what foster caring involved. Mel and Jamie also had high praise for their allocated worker who explained everything to them: “The allocated worker was so nice and warm, she supported us every step of the way”.
If they had any queries, no matter how trivial, they could always contact their worker by phone, text message or email. Their worker was always there to support them, and would visit the family every week to keep them “up to date with everything that was taking place throughout the assessment period”.
Mel and Jamie both enjoyed the Skills to Foster training course. Mel was also able to attend a number of additional training courses throughout their assessment period, which provided lots of knowledge and increased her skills:
“The training was fantastic it opens your eyes and equips you on how to deal with certain situations, who to contact, what resources are available”.
During the Skills to Foster training, the couple also befriended another foster carer and have continued to keep in touch with them. They have since met lots of other foster carers and have exchanged phone numbers: “the foster carers have provided lots of advice and resources” explains Mel.
“The training was fantastic it opens your eyes and equips you on how to deal with certain situations, who to contact, what resources are available.”
Mel and Jamie met their supervising social worker at the Foster Panel and said that the transition to their supervising social worker was “lovely”. Their new worker makes them feel at ease and they feel very supported by them. The worker attends meetings with them and is there to talk things over.
They also describe how their daughter has also been “amazing throughout the process”. Their daughter, who is 15 years old, is now supporting the looked after children in their placement and is very loving and welcoming: “It has completely changed her outlook, and she is hugely enjoying being a part of an extended fostering family”.
“The children that are currently in our care have developed in such a short space of time.”
One of the biggest highlights for Mel and Jamie is observing how “the children that are currently in our care have developed in such a short space of time”. For example, the little toddler they currently care for couldn’t talk when he first arrived, he now “sings full nursery rhymes and he’s currently learning to sing the alphabet song!”
Mel says that her family are “really looking forward to being a part of the fostering community and being able to take the children to the parties and activities that are offered by Rotherham Council”.
Mel’s aunt is currently talking about becoming a foster carer and met Mel and Jamie’s foster children over the Christmas break. Mel advised her aunt to “just go for it! You will regret it if you don’t. It’s hard work but it’s so rewarding”.
Learn more about fostering in Rotherham
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