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Successful outcomes

Case studies

Most people are aware that becoming a foster carer is a challenging yet highly rewarding vocation. However, it is not until you actually start fostering that you can truly understand the impact it can have on you, your family and the children placed in your care.

We have countless success stories; here is just a selection.

N.B. Names have been changed to protect the identities of our young people.

Gemma’s story

Gemma and her older brother were placed with Carol and Peter following the breakdown of their previous foster placement. They had experienced severe domestic violence during their formative years and this had shaped their understanding of family life. Gemma settled very well and quickly established a close, loving relationship; in particular, Carol, who shared her love of shopping.

The plan was for Gemma to remain with her foster carers until she was 18. However, at 16, she decided that she wanted to leave, and despite Carol’s best efforts, Gemma left the placement, refusing to return. Although Gemma had left the family home, her carers remained focused on offering Gemma as much support as she would accept and letting her know they were there for her.

Some months later, Carol and Gemma have started having lunch together. Carol’s ability to put her own feelings to one side has ensured that Gemma has the support she needs and the independence she craves.

Sarah’s story

When a child is unable to live with their birth family, they may go into foster care whilst decisions are made regarding their future. For younger children, the plan for their future may be adoption as this gives them stability along with the opportunity to grow and develop in a loving, permanent family setting.

Sarah was initially placed with foster carer, Tina, with her mother in a parent and child placement at the age of 9 months. When the court decided that Sarah’s mother should leave the placement, Tina continued to provide a safe and stable home for Sarah whilst the Local Authority searched for appropriate adoptive parents to provide Sarah with permanency.

Once Sarah had been matched with adoptive parents, Tina worked with professionals to ensure that the transition went as smoothly as possible. She welcomed the adoptive parents into her home and shared details of Sarah’s routine and favourite recipes. Tina also gave them photographs of Sarah and shared memories and stories.

Sarah and Tina had built up an attachment, so it was an emotional time for them, as well as for Tina’s family. However, Tina understood that it was in Sarah’s best interests for her to be adopted so she could have a family who provided her with love, stability and security. The Local Authority was pleased with the way that Tina put her emotions aside and put Sarah’s needs as paramount.

Thanks to the support and understanding of Tina and her family, Sarah had a smooth transition to her adoptive parents and has settled in well in her new home.

Chantelle’s story

Chantelle was placed in care after she became involved in a syndicate that cloned credit cards and used stolen cheque books; she had been arrested when she tried to cash a stolen cheque at a bank. It was deemed to be in her best interests to place her out of the area to protect her from the syndicate and the gang she was involved with.

Her foster carer did not share Chantelle’s ethnicity and background, and initially did not know of the hairdressers and shops to buy hair, skin and nail products she was used to. Soon, the carer was taking Chantelle to London twice a month to get her supplies. She also asked Chantelle to show her the foods she liked, and soon they were cooking together; in fact, Chantelle discovered that she had a natural flair for cooking.

Chantelle settled well into her new home and her self-care skills and confidence improved; her carer supported her during her court care and also encouraged Chantelle to try new hobbies, such as going to the gym and weaving hair.

Chantelle remained with her carer until she moved to independence, with her carer helping her furnish her flat. Years later, Chantelle is now a mother and her foster carer was with her at the birth. Chantelle and her baby are accepted as part of the family and Chantelle knows that she can count on her carer whenever she needs advice or guidance.

Joey’s story

Joey was placed with Susan and John on a short-term basis until the outcome of a court case, which would make a decision regarding his future. Joey settled well, seemed happy with his foster carers and adhered to their routines and boundaries. There was also a marked improvement in his school work.

The court was so impressed by the care Joey was receiving that when the court made the decision that it would not be in Joey’s best interests to return to the family home, they stated in their summing up that they would like Joey to remain with Susan and John and not be moved to one of the Local Authority’s placements.

Joey is now placed with Susan and John on a permanent basis. He has just started secondary school and is very much part of their family.

Amy and Dan’s story

Amy and Dan were approved as foster carers at the end of June 2012. FSG called the carers to go through a referral with them on Adam who had experienced a very troubled past and was displaying some concerning behaviours. Adam had only been known to social services for a short period of time before being placed in care with Amy and Dan, so there was only limited information available on Adam at the time of referral; however, this information was concerning.

Amy and Dan responded well to the referral and were open-minded about the information given to them. They were aware that Adam would be arriving to them late that evening with no clothes or belongings. They prepared themselves well and ensured they had some emergency basics such as a toothbrush and deodorant for Adam.

Adam was hyperactive when placed with the carers and they took him out on many activities to spend quality time with him and build a relationship with him. Their family visited to meet Adam and make him feel welcome into the family. Adam had not had any contact with his family since being placed and was particularly angry with his father and brother. The carers worked with Adam to support his needs and discuss how he was feeling.

Amy and Dan have adapted to their role as foster carers very well. They have shown their ability to work with all professionals involved with Adam, as well as his birth family. They have ensured all daily logs and incidents are well detailed and have followed all procedures.

Amy and Dan are enjoying their role as foster carers and have already made a significant difference to Adam, who has described the placement as ‘amazing’ and he ‘loves living with the carers as they are so funny and spend so much time with him.’

Customer testimonials

Email received from child’s social worker:

“Firstly can I say how well the carers are doing with X. He was clearly distressed yesterday and their handling of the situation was excellent. The Local Authority would like to consider the carers as long-term carers for X.”

Letter received from Local Authority social worker to the carers after a child’s placement had ended:

“I would like to thank you for your time and commitment over the past year to X. I am sure he had a really good year with you and your family and I am aware of what hard work he was. Once again thank you for the professional and sympathetic way you looked after X.”

“We find the SGM extremely helpful and we share experiences and gain information through these meetings.

I find the meetings very informative, both with the information given and the assistance from members of staff and other foster carers. It is helpful to be able to discuss issues with others that have probably faced them themselves in the past.

The staff are very supportive, responding to any concerns quickly and efficiently. The standard of support has been excellent. Our Supervising Social Worker is approachable, helpful and professional and takes that extra mile to assist us in what we need to achieve. The lines of communications within the organisation are clear in all levels.”