Released On 27th Jun 2015

Sons and Daughters Month: Trevor’s Blog

Trevor grew up as a birth son in a family who fostered teenagers. Today, he is one of our hard-working Fostering and Adoption Recruitment Service Team Managers. Below, he blogs about his experiences for The Fostering Network’s Sons and Daughters Month (1-31 October) – a campaign celebrating the vital contribution made by foster carers’ birth children…

All families are different, but with an adopted sister, parents who fostered and a brother with haemophilia, I spent much of my childhood involved in social care issues. Add to this a mother who was herself fostered, and who worked in a psychiatric unit, and I guess I was destined to a career working somewhere in social care.

Over the past 50 plus years, I have almost continuously been involved with fostering and seen so many changes. Through fostering siblings and teenagers to young mums, the experiences of being a young person in a fostering household proved both interesting and embarrassing in equal measure.

My parents stopped fostering for a while in my teenage years, but started again when I went to university – but neglected to tell me. They decided to foster pregnant teenage girls, and when I returned for the university holidays I was confronted with a heavily pregnant young lady who had just moved in, and neighbours with a nudge, nudge, wink wink, mentality who clearly reached their own conclusions about my activities at university.

I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a social worker, and after a few years working in generic child care, often with children in foster care, it was no surprise to anyone when I applied to work in fostering and adoption.

I have met literally hundreds of foster carers, having started my career in Buckinghamshire, and onto Somerset County Council, where I have been for the past 13 years, and the amazing commitment they show to vulnerable children never ceases to impress me.

Most are motivated to volunteer for the task for the same reasons I do my job as Fostering and Adoption Recruitment Team Manager: we want to make a positive difference to a child or young person’s life.

I know that the time a child spends in foster care is never wasted; it gives them the opportunity to have a positive experience of family life, for however long they are placed, and it is an experience that they can refer to later when they become parents themselves.

I learnt from my time as a children’s social worker that sometimes the same families are involved with children’s social care, generation after generation. Fostering is one means of breaking this cycle, and our foster carers can make a real and lasting difference to children’s lives, by offering a home to children who are vulnerable and challenging in equal measure.

They are all heroes in their own way…

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