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Zengha, foster carer: I had many reservations about going into foster care. My friends were quite negative about the idea of fostering, people who knew nothing about foster care.
And it's only when I started the training, that I talked to foster carers who gave me the other side and I felt much more strong and much more confident.
It has been the most amazing experience I could ever have gone through.
Sharon, foster carer: My social worker that did my training was absolutely great and they were able to give me all the information I needed so everything was covered so I didn't go in blindly.
When you go to foster support groups, there are foster carers, social workers from all backgrounds and it's really really helpful to have that because you learn from each other.
Dean, social worker: Some of the stereotypes people have foster care are people are either too old, wrong ethnicity, you can't be a single carer, you can't be a male carer. Our service encourages people from all different nominations. There's no restrictions on who can be a foster carer.
Zach, care leaver: It provided a stable, safe environment for me to live in. I wasn't used to that at that age. It allowed me to just focus on school and other important things that I didn't have the energy or time to before.
Stacey, care leaver: It made a big difference to, you know, being able to be shown what a normal lifestyle looks like and a positive lifestyle looks luck as well. So when you can actually see that one lifestyle was negative and this one is positive, that's when I was able to say 'yeah this was actually one of the best thing was that could have happened'.
Dean: Foster carers offer a opportunity for young people who have had a particularly bad start in life, to find a place of sanctuary, a place where they can redefine the life stories that have happened to them up until that point.
Sharon: The benefit for me is to see that I've made a difference, even if it's the tiniest bit of difference and you do get to see that whether it's a weekly event or years later.
Zach: The advice I would give someone who's thinking about becoming a foster carer would be, 'Can you provide a safe, stable environment for a young person?'
That's the first thing. You know other things in terms of, you know, people's culture your experience and all these kinds of things, that actually comes second.
Zengha: If I hadn't ever been a foster carer, I would feel that this, the child who I did foster, may have lost out. She's recently had a baby and said to me that she's going to bring up her baby the same way that she's been brought up. The fact I've given someone a happy childhood I can't think of any more rewarding or wonderful compliment that any human being can have.
Stacey: If it is that they have love to offer or care or empathy, that you know there's a young person out there that needs that and you know could potentially have a better life just because of you know what a foster carer has to give.
What makes a good carer is...
Sharon: Someone who is patient,
Stacey: Having a non-judgmental attitude
Dean: They need to be empathetic
Sharon: Someone that loves children
Zengha: be there for them through thick and thin
Zach: Somebody that actually just treats the foster child like it's their child
Sharon: Someone that is caring
Zengha: Helping them with their homework
Stacey: Resilience, being inclusive
Zach: Understanding the young person's culture.
Sharon: And give a child the love and affection that they deserve
Dean: Care to make a difference
Stacey: Care to make a difference
Zach: Care to make a difference
Zengha: Care to make a difference
Sharon: Care to make a difference
Fostering Shared Services logo appears on screen followed by #CareToMakeADifference
The logos for Hammersmith & Fulham Council, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council appear on screen
Details on how to contact Fostering Shared Services appear on screen - the telephone number and facebook page are no longer in use
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