Episode Two of an enthusiastic Somerset Fostering couple’s new, documentary-style fostering video blog, giving an insight into their fostering experiences, can now be watched online.
Somerset County Council Foster Carers, Trudy and Matt Patch, have recorded their second “v-log” on why having a strong support network in fostering is so important to them. In it, they also discuss why they find seizing opportunities to meet and socialise with other, like-minded Foster Carers vital for fostering success. They also talk about the importance of teamwork – both in their dynamic as a fostering couple, and being part of a broader professional team around a child in care.
The husband-and-wife team from Frome began fostering for Somerset over three years ago. They have three boys of their own and also foster a 14 year-old permanently. Trudy and Matt’s third v-log is expected later on YouTube this summer.
We are seeking 50 new fostering households in 2016-17 for its mainstream and specialist schemes, particularly:
- Foster Carers for older children and young people
- People who could foster brothers and sisters
- Skilled individuals who can care for children with disabilities
- Understanding people who have the space in their lives to help a troubled teenager experiencing tough times.
- People who can help a parent and his or her young child.
In Episode Two, filmed from Trudy and Matt’s home, and available here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcTQsnlfGME they talk about:
Why it’s important to have a strong support network if you’re fostering:
Matt: “It is paramount that you have support when you foster…
Trudy: “We’ve found from experience that the only people who understand what you’re talking about when something happens, or ‘this happened today in our house’, is another Foster Carer, because they’ve experienced it…”
On seizing opportunities to meet up with other Foster Carers, and their own brand of teamwork:
Matt: “We feel it’s really important that within fostering, you go to all the coffee mornings, events, social events, because it’s all like-minded people who have been through or going through what you’ve experienced… you know they can understand what you’re saying…”
Trudy: “We’re really lucky, we are a team. We do 99.999% of things together, so we share everything within fostering and life, so that helps… I know we have lots of lone foster carers… and so, joining all the support networks that we have on offer in fostering; all the training events, everything – there’s so much going on… it just helps. It helps with when you get that crunch…and something does happen, that you think, OK, I’ve got someone to call … it’s nice to have a buddy or someone who understands what you’re saying.”
Being part of a broader, professional team:
Matt: “We have a fantastic group of supervising social workers and assistants –”
Trudy: “– the whole team is there to help, aren’t they…”
Matt: “I can only go from experience, again, that if we’ve had a doubt or concern, we give them a ring or drop them an email, and they get back to us and that’s great. That’s the kind of support that Foster Carers need…
“…It’s all about teamwork at the end of the day … it’s about recognising that there is a wider network of people that you can talk to, and turn to…”
Or come to one of our next fostering information events:
- Thursday 11 August 2016, Costa Coffee Shepton Mallet, BA4 5EG, 7pm-9pm
- Monday 12 September 2016, Taunton Holiday Inn, TA1 2UA, 7pm-9pm
- Tuesday 18 October 2016, Costa Coffee Bridgwater, TA6 3BU, 7pm-9pm
- Monday 31 October 2016, Street Wessex Hotel, BA16 0EF, 7pm-9pm
- Thursday 17 November 2016, Costa Coffee Yeovil, BA20 1LE, 7pm-9pm
- Monday 5 December 2016, Pawlett village hall TA6 4RX, 7pm-9pm