Foster carers stories

Angela’s story

Foster with Edinburgh carer Angela shares her experience of being a short breaks foster carer...

I had heard an advert on the radio looking for foster carers to support young mums and went along to an open evening for a chat with social workers. Hearing my background in disability, we agreed that my experience and skills would be so useful as a short breaks carer for children with disabilities.

I took the next step. I attended preparation sessions with other prospective carers. The training was very good and I enjoyed the group sessions with different topics and the opportunity to talk to others about our journeys and where we wanted to go. It was also very helpful to hear from current foster carers about their role.

After this, the assessment process started, which is a necessary in-depth piece of work with you and your allocated social worker. It can feel like a long time but will eventually lead to a panel where you will be approved. I was very happy when the assessment period was over and the panel approved me becoming a short breaks carer for children with disabilities.

Your social worker will discuss children with you and together you decide who you will be able to support and it wasn’t long before I was matched with a child.  My short breaks’ caring journey started the very first day of lockdown!

I was matched with Sally, aged 11 at the time, who has autism and epilepsy. These were not normal times and we certainly had challenges along the way, but I can honestly say I absolutely love having her stay with me. Three years on we had a 3-year celebration day.

I've got to know her and her kinship carer so well. She stays with me two nights every week which gives her kinship carer a proper rest. I go to a choir with Sally every week which we both enjoy. I have helped her to gain more independent skills which makes her feel good about herself.

The ongoing support provided by Family Based Care is great as you have your own social worker to speak with anytime and opportunities to access lots of relevant training, which has been excellent. I also attend a carers’ group regularly and it's great to link up with other carers who have similar children and so much experience.

Find out about short breaks foster caring.