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Kerry & Jason’s story

Jason & Kerry have been fostering with Jay for nearly 5 years. They were awarded our Foster Carer of the Month for July and we took the opportunity to find out all about their fostering experience so far.

What made you decide to become a foster carer?

“As a couple we had discussed fostering, its importance to young people and families and the difference positive role models can make. We had offered respite care to friends that foster and seen the potential for change that can be offered to young people in the right circumstances. Our own children were growing to be more independent and we felt that we could share our life experience and our passion for self-development with others.”

How long did you think about fostering before you applied?

“We had previously been respite carers for friends but waited until our eldest had gone to university before fostering ourselves. This considered, we probably thought about it for 4 years before applying to foster full time.”

Did you have any reservations about fostering before you applied?

“Inviting a young person to stay in your home and trying to make a difference to their future should be carefully considered. There were reservations including whether we would be skilful enough to cope with what emotional issues the role brought up for all involved and the impact that would have on behaviour.”

What did you do before you fostered?

“Jason was an HGV driver, considering a career change into counselling. Kerry remains in employment, currently working as a ‘Local Area Coordinator’ in Public Health.”

What skills do you feel that you bring to the role of a foster carer?

“As a couple, we are self-reflective and communicate well. We are interested in self development and Jason’s current counselling training has facilitated this further. The roles that Kerry has held, since going back to studying Sociology as a mature student, has also encouraged acceptance of a person-centred approach when looking to support individuals. Studying these subjects also facilitates an understanding of the impact of both nature and nurture on humans.”

What is the most enjoyable thing about fostering?

“Working with passionate people makes a great difference. You create new relationships with many different professionals that can make a real difference to the opportunities that young people have access to. This can support more positive decision making into their future and the future of their families.”

What has been the most difficult part of fostering?

“Having young people in your home that have had difficult beginnings can be difficult at times. Learning to understand their world view and finding mutual understanding can take time and negotiation. Understanding the impact of attachment disorders is really important.”

What support do you receive from Jay?

“Our Supervising Social Worker Michelle is amazing. She is always there when we need support, whether that is in person or just to have a chat on the phone. We have been offered full training to give us confidence to fulfil the role.

We have made many friends that are also working for Jay and that offers another layer of support when it is required. Sometimes knowing that someone understands your circumstances and shares your experiences can be really helpful.”

Would you recommend becoming a foster carer to anyone else? If so, why?

“We would recommend becoming a foster carer if you feel your relationship is strong and you have a good network of support. The rewards can be amazing when you see a young person doing well and feeling that you have made a difference.

We have always felt that Jay have been supportive of us. Our Supervising Social Workers have always been fabulous and have listened and encouraged us through many situations. We have been given the opportunity to access great training and have developed as people over the last few years.”

We are proud that such dedicated and passionate foster carers work with us for the benefit of the children in your care. Thank you Kerry & Jason – Jay Fostering