Released On 27th May 2019

What’s it like being a Short Break Foster Carer?

There are many different kids of fostering.

Some involve looking after children in care, some children with disabilities or special educational needs to offer families some respite.

We threw some quick fire questions at Sue Cosham, a veteran of short break caring, to find out about her experience.

What’s the best thing about fostering?

Having a child feel comfortable staying with our family, the children enjoying themselves, hearing their laughter and seeing their smiles.

How did you find the assessment process?

The process was quite intense. However, having adopted our girls and been through a similar process previously, we understood how important it was, in terms of safeguarding, experience, qualifications etc. in order to get the best match in terms of Children With Disabilities and carers.

What is the ‘skills to foster’ training like?

The training available was useful and I personally enjoyed having refresher sessions to keep up to date. I found most of the training equipped me with transferrable skills within Education.

How did you find Fostering with Somerset County Council?

Our Short Break Care fostering experience has been a very positive one. We have really enjoyed the journey and we would also consider mainstream Foster Caring in the future. The fostering team have always been there for Chris and I and the girls. We have felt well supported, included in all communication and felt valued.

How important is a good support network?

A good support network is vital and the level of support from the team was excellent at all times.

What’s been the most rewarding aspect of short break care particularly?

Providing essential respite for parents who desperately need a break – This has allowed us all to have a greater appreciation of how lucky we are to have our good health, of who we have around us and how fortunate we are. Providing Short Break Care is a humbling experience, which allows you to begin to understand experiences and challenges others face – and so provide empathetic care.

What effect did fostering have on your and your family?

A positive one! We have enjoyed caring for other children, it has provided more opportunities to have fun.

As a family we feel: Less selfish, less judgmental, more empathetic.

Would you recommend fostering to others?

We actually have a few friends that foster and we would definitely encourage others to try it!

Want to know more about fostering – get in touch and have an informal chat.

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