Life as a part-time foster carer with Bradford Council
Catherine has been a short breaks carer for 6 years and has cared for many children from the age range of 0-18.
Initially, Catherine and her husband were unsure about the idea of fostering because they were concerned about how it may affect their relationship with their grandchildren but Catherine found it to be a positive experience for them.
"We worked it around our family life, it has impacted positively on the grandchildren and they also enjoy meeting new children too."
What is a short breaks carer?
Short break foster carers look after children and young people for short periods of time, to provide respite to their main caregiver.
Our short breaks carers provide care for a minimum of 8 sessions a month.
Learn more about the various types of fostering.
What inspired you to become a foster carer?
Catherine's husband had been in care in the 1970's and wanted to help bring a positive experience to children and young people.
Catherine knew that she wanted to foster but like many others, taking the plunge was a worrying thought because of the fear of the unknown.
Catherine immediately felt reassured when she made contact with the fostering team because of all the support offered.
How did your social worker support you through the process?
“My social worker was well organised, kept in regular contact and had meaningful conversations which didn't feel like an assessment or paperwork exercise but more like building a good relationship."
What is the best thing about fostering with Bradford?
“The best thing about fostering with Bradford Fostering is helping local children and giving back to your own community”
"I have reduced my hours in my day job, I get more satisfaction from fostering and its more rewarding."
"I love to see kids develop and achieve and when they keep in contact or make contact after our involvement ends, to share their progress and what they are doing - it is very satisfying.
One girl we cared for on an emergency placement ended up staying with us for up to 3 weeks. She got in touch later and told us how the experience of coming into care was difficult, but we later saw her on a billboard college poster and it was so amazing.
We felt so proud of what she had achieved."
Training and Support
As a foster carer, Catherine has access to a variety of training courses, from first aid to safeguarding and counselling skills.
"I attended the PACE training which was really useful and really benefited from the training, it was relevant to the role and it helped.”
The PACE course, which stands for Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy, is a parenting model which can help carers support children and young people who may have experienced negative situations or trauma in the past.
Alongside regular training, Catherine spoke regularly with our fostering team, who were available 24 hours a day to provide advice and support.
“The supervising social worker (SSW) and emergency duty team (EDT) were available and gave good advice in emergency situations.
The SSW offered support when we moved house and we considered how this impacted our fostering role.”
What advice would you offer people who are considering becoming a foster carer?
"If you want to do it then you should- as it's very rewarding."
Would you like to learn more about foster care in Bradford?
If you would like to learn more about being a foster carer for Bradford, please get in touch with our team. We look forward to hearing from you.