The Difference Fostering Can Make, from a Supervising Social Worker

18th May, 2023

Justine has been in social work for nearly three years, having worked in local authority as a children’s social worker before she made the move to FosterCare UK in late 2022.

Now she works as a Supervising Social Worker for our team.

What is a Supervising Social Worker?

“My role is focused on supporting the fostering parents with the aim of ensuring that the young people in their care are looked after well, so supporting young people is also an integral part of my role’’.

As a Supervising Social Worker, Justine now aims to give support and guidance to her foster carers so that they may nurture the children and young people in their care to the very best of their abilities.

Children in care have often experienced trauma so part of her role is to ensure that her carers have the training to be prepared to adapt their parenting style to suit the needs of that individual child. All while knowing that Justine is just a phone call away, able to offer her expertise at a moment’s notice.

“I want to inform and educate.” She continued, “It is my job to keep my foster parents up do date, not only with training but also of any changes, whether that be from the organisation or even things like updates in terminology.”

Fostering is a 24/7 role, so Justine also told us about the importance of down time for foster parents and she supports her carers to self-reflect. At the moment, she supports six fostering families which means she can take the time to build those relationships to ensure her carers are happy and well supported.

In your experience what difference can fostering make?

Justine can reel off many examples and makes a good point that positive changes can be incremental differences which all mount up to a big positive when you look at the larger picture. When you start to see performances improving in school, being able to confidently share their views or just get a decent night sleep. These all add up to make a big difference.

“One child was struggling with sleep due to previous lack of supervision and stimulation, now having that structure and healthy boundaries, it made all of the difference and we all know the power of sleeping well. This child’s quality of life is considerably improved.”

When we asked about a particular situation that had brightened her day, Justine spoke a particular young person who was experiencing some very deep personal issues on top of their being fostered. The situation could have been a volatile one, but the fostering family never backed down and stood by this young person every step of the way.

With the support of the fostering family this young person felt comfortable being their true self, which led not only to their confidence skyrocketing but their future becoming a bright one, with the young person recently being accepted into Durham University.

Justine’s message to those thinking of fostering… What are you waiting for?

“We don’t expect you to come to us as fully fledged foster parents. We are here to teach and guide you. Think of the good you are doing, not just for the child, but for the whole community.”

Well, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

 

Foster Care Fortnight is our opportunity to raise the profile of fostering by showing the positive impact that fostering can have and how it changes lives. If you are interested in finding out more about fostering with FosterCare UK, please call our friendly team on 0844 800 1941.

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