Our fostering journey - part 2
Posted: Monday 27th April 2020
We are now six months on and going in front of a panel of assessors sounds a little daunting, but it’s just the beginning of our journey, fostering starts when we open our doors to a little one, which fills us with excitement and in trepidation in equal measures!
We are going to panel
Today is the day! The day we’ve spend 10 months preparing for, since that very first chat about fostering , we are going to panel…
It seems like a long time coming, but it’s also flown by. Over the past four months myself, my husband, our little girl and our dog have been working with Hazel (our social worker) on a weekly basis to build a relationship, ask questions and sort out the paperwork side of things. Hazel has seen the good, the bad and the ugly in our home! From a tired toddler to our needy dog – she’s seen all aspects of our family life!
Hazel had complied a lengthy report for the team to read before our arrival. We arrived five minutes ahead of our appointment (expecting to wait a while because these things rarely run on time), we set out with 15 minutes to spare, but there was a crash on the A55, leaving us stuck and panicking slightly!
Anyway all was good, and we got called into the meeting room at County Hall. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we had around 12 welcoming faces focusing on us. My husband and I are used to public speaking (I’m not saying we’re any good at it!), but this helped us with remaining calm.
One lady in particular took the lead, and asked us a few questions, all of which we’d talked about with Hazel – so no surprises! After what seemed like two minutes, we were ushered out for the panel to deliberate and then asked to return. I can’t remember their exact words, but WE PASSED!
We are now officially registered to care for a little one aged 0-4.
My husband and I celebrated with brunch, and couldn’t wait to share the news with our little girl – who’s initial response was ‘no mummy I don’t want to help you look after another little girl’ once I explained that she’d have someone to play with, she soon changed her mind!. We are a few weeks on now and getting very excited for our first placement! There’s been more paperwork and online training courses to complete, plus I’m booked onto a few day courses covering first aid and safeguarding.
Now we’ve been to panel, we don’t see Hazel for our two hour weekly coffee and catch up in our home which is taking some getting used to! But once we have a looked after child, Hazel’s friendly face will be back more frequently to support us.
As far as preparing for a boy/girl aged 0-4 to enter our lives, there’s not a lot we can do until we get that phone call – exciting times ahead!
Our fostering journey - Part 3 - that first phone-call
Our fostering journey - Step by step - Part One