This Foster Care Fortnight we are celebrating what makes people ‘proud to support fostering’!
Our amazing supervising social worker, Clare has kindly given us an insight into her role supporting foster carers and placements…
“My main responsibility as a social worker is to make sure placements are stable. This means offering support to foster carers whenever needed which could be over the phone or liaising with local authority social workers or educational professionals. Ensuring the child’s needs are met make the placement more stable. Sometimes my role consists of finding resources for carers or being available for support groups and training, it might be identifying training needs for foster carers or sourcing the resources that can meet those training needs. I also regularly attend supervision with my manager and feedback what is going on in my placements so there is oversight for the whole agency, and it is not just me that knows what is going on. As a social worker, I also spend some time in the office doing duty cover, which is where we look at referrals coming in to see if we can match up children that are in need of loving homes on to foster carers on our vacancy board.
What I love most about being a social worker is that you get to meet lots of different people and sometimes your interaction with someone just on that day might be enough to help them see something from a different perspective or make them feel as though they are not alone in a certain situation. Although sometimes those little things seem tiny in the grand scheme of someone’s life, all of these collective things make a difference to them.
“As a social worker, I am proud of the fact that I do a job which actually helps society and people’s lives.
The hardest thing about social work, I think, is because it is all about relationships so managing those relationships can be difficult sometimes because you are trying to establish a rapport all of the time and everybody else’s relationship skills vary. You’re always thinking about how you are going to manage each relationship and what you might need to adapt and what you might need address, sometimes challenging some very tricky topics and sensitive issues, so making you are doing that in a way that is productive but is also sensitive to everyone’s needs.
To someone thinking about fostering I would say its very special and unique career that must be tremendously rewarding but is also tremendously hard work. It is something that can benefit generations to come.