Katie, Supervising Social Worker
During Foster Care Fortnight 2020 we are sharing stories of how foster care transforms lives. By sharing the stories of people who have had their lives transformed by foster care, we pay tribute to the wonderful work foster carers are doing.
We will share thoughts from foster carers, staff, Board members and young people who have experienced foster carer. Next up is Katie, a Supervising Social Worker at Carolina House Trust.
How long have you been working at Carolina House Trust?
1 year (a quick one at that!)
How long have you been supporting foster carers in one way or another? How do you do this?
I was a newly qualified social worker when I joined CHT last year. Prior to joining the team, I have had experience working in children and families, substance misuse services, advocacy for individuals with sensory impairments and with children and young adults with learning disabilities and Autism. I have loved this new role, working alongside foster carers to promote positive outcomes for children and young people in care. Our foster carers do an amazing job!
What is your CHT or foster care career highlight?
I have so many highlights- hearing about young people’s achievements, visiting my foster carers, CHT community events and socials and everyday banter within our team!
Have you had a low point? How did you overcome it?
A global pandemic and a lockdown have been a challenge that nobody expected to face. We have had to adapt fast and make huge changes to the way we work. I would definitely agree with Kathleen that there have been feelings of helplessness and of guilt, not being able to go out and see our carers face to face, but having a supportive and humorous team has been the key to my resilience.
What would you change about foster care?
That is a huge question and hard to answer as the system is nowhere near perfect and can always be improved. A simple answer would be more resources, more foster carers, and for young people to have a louder voice and more of a say in the decisions and choices made about their life.
What challenges have COVID-19 and lockdown brought to how you provide support? How are you overcoming them?
It has been strange adapting to a new way of life. Not being able to do what humans do best- connect. Not in the way we are used to anyway! However, technology has been a life jacket during these times, allowing us to keep in regular contact with our foster carers, young people and as a team via telephone calls and video chat.
What has been the funniest moment of your CHT or foster care career?
We have had some silly moments as a team in the office, I don’t think I could pick just one! I really do miss these little moments!
What do you enjoy doing when you have some time to yourself?
I love to go for walks with my dog (not quite on my own), eat good food and I must admit I do love a good Netflix binge!
The theme of Foster Care Fortnight this year is ‘’Foster Care Transforms Lives”. How has being immersed in the world of fostering changed your life?
Every day I am reminded that people are kind, loving, caring, patient and dependable. I am always in awe of the resilience of our foster carers and our young people, and it is amazing to see what can be achieved within a nurturing home.
About Foster Care Fortnight
Foster Care Fortnight 2020 is taking place from Monday 11 to Sunday 24 May.
The Fostering Network’s theme #ThisIsFostering provides an excellent opportunity to highlight the incredible work foster carers are doing, especially in such unusual circumstances. The overarching message of every Foster Care Fortnight is ‘foster care transforms lives’. Foster care makes a difference to the lives of fostered children and young people, but it also has the power to change the lives of foster carers, their families and all those who are involved in fostering.