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Sonia’s Story: Why I chose to become a task-centred foster carer

Sonia is a single foster carer who has been fostering for 20 years. Sonia is a task-centred foster carer, also known as a short-term foster carer. This means that the children who Sonia cares for live with her until a suitable long term placement is found, or they are matched for adoption. We recently spoke to Sonia about why she chose to become a foster carer.

What motivated you to become a foster carer?

Sonia always wanted a big family and to provide a safe and loving home for children. Sonia was adopted as a child, and it was her own experience of the care system that motivated her to foster. Sonia left her adoptive home when she was 16 years of age.

The loss, separation and rejection that Sonia experienced as a child has enabled her to empathise with the children and young people she now fosters: “I want to create a sense of normality and consistency for the children and young people during a time of significant upheaval and uncertainty.”

Why did you choose to foster with Rotherham?

Sonia strongly believes that Rotherham children should be able to live in a safe and loving home environment in their hometown. This way they can continue to attend the same schools and keep in touch with their friends. “This helps to promote a sense of normality and consistency for the children and young people during a time of significant upheaval and uncertainty,” explains Sonia.

What support have you received from the fostering team at Rotherham?

Sonia has received a lot of information and advice from the fostering team: “I have always received good support from the fostering service. Your supervising social worker (SSW) can bring reasoning during a time when you might be feeling overwhelmed. They keep you sane when things are difficult”.

Likewise, when she cared for children of African heritage, Sonia [who is of a different cultural background herself] received specialised guidance and support from the children’s social worker:

“I was lucky because the children had the support of a social worker who was [of] black African heritage.  She was also able to offer me lots of advice about the children’s personal care needs and dietary needs”.

What are your fostering highlights?

Sonia is passionate about being a foster carer and has many fostering highlights. She particularly remembers helping an introverted child:

“When one child came to live with me she was a ‘shell’, she had nothing to say and this indicated to me that she felt worthless, unwanted and unlovable. When you start here and end with a wonderful child who has developed a sense of identity and confidence it is incredible. Seeing them grow and develop has a big impact on you”.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about fostering?

When asked what she would say to someone who is thinking about fostering, Sonia’s advice is:

“You should definitely look into it further, and have a long discussion with your family. It is really important that your family is on board”.


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