For Care Day last month, we asked Naomi (Acting Team Leader of the Foster and Continuing Care Team), what she thought about care. She covers social care, foster care and supporting carers in her answers.
What do you think care is? What does care mean to you?
Care, for me, is knowing that I am accepted for who I am.
What makes a good carer?
A good carer doesn’t take themselves too seriously, is curious and laughs a lot.
Why did you want to work in care/ be a carer?
After qualifying as a social worker I went straight into a child protection team working with children and families and quite often, foster carers. I really enjoyed my time with the foster carers mainly because you could literally see the changes in a child in front of your eyes when they were in a safe family home. I knew then I wanted to work directly with foster carers to help implement and raise awareness of trauma-informed practice.
What is the best part about working in social care?
A big highlight of my career was the implementation of continuing care. I believe there is more to be done and we can always get better.
What is challenging about caring?
You have to understand the impact that you can have on others.
How can carers help themselves?
Remember you are not alone and there are no stupid questions.
What is your happiest carer memory?
I love it when you can see the lightbulb moment in a foster carer when it finally clicks why trauma-informed fostering is more than just parenting.
How do you know you made a difference?
Sometimes you will never know until years later. Sometimes it is immediate. Seeing the smile on a young person’s face is a small step in realising that you can help create more of those moments.