‘I’ve learned so much going through the fostering assessment’ Ruth’s Story
Ruth is a single foster carer and a qualified teacher who works part time. She lives with her 16-year-old foster child and two daughters who are 17 & 20. Here she talks about going through the process and what she's learnt along the way
Ruth has an interesting background. When she was 12 months old, she was adopted in Vietnam to a family in Barnsley.
“My mum had three sons but really wanted a girl. It was one of the first mixed race adoptions in the UK. It’s always been in the back of my mind to foster, to give something back like my mum gave to me. Going through that and looking at my life experiences, really helped me to understand what some of these young people might be going through”.
Ruth said, “I really enjoyed the fostering assessment. I was so determined to foster and found that I grew as a person throughout the process. You reflect on your history and your experiences.
“The references help Action for Children to evidence a person is able to look after vulnerable children”
The assessment process makes you look at your positives and the things you might need to work on to develop as a foster carer.
I really enjoyed the fostering assessmentRuth
“Fostering is a big life changing decision and there’s a lot to learn. You must think about the detail and what impact your lifestyle and actions will have on a young person.
“You might think the time is right to foster. But halfway through there could be an issue or you might have doubts. One of my friends went through the process until her daughter raised a concern that she wasn’t prepared to share her mum.
Worried about how to talk to your children about fostering?
“It’s important that the process is thorough. If it was done too quickly you could damage yourself and the young person by not being ready. On average the assessment takes six months and I think this is a good amount of time to help you process everything.”
“As a single person I had concerns. It left me feeling a bit vulnerable as everything relies on me. That’s why my support network is so important. My family and friends play a huge role in helping me feel supported.
My family and friends play a huge role in helping me feel supportedRuth
“Me and my young person hit it off straight away and we’ve never looked back. We have both learnt things from each other. She has learnt there’s different ways of managing things. She knows that if she makes mistakes, we can move forward positively.”
Ruth wants everyone who is passionate about fostering to feel confident about the process.
“I would encourage anyone to go through that process. It’s not a test. If you know in your heart that you want to foster, the assessment is there to support that decision.”
If you’re interested in fostering and want to learn more about the process, we’d love to hear from you.
Could you give a safe and loving home to a child?