We had one of our Chrysalis Care staff and foster carer lunches the other day. It’s something we do on a regular basis to give everyone a chance to get together, catch up, socialise and be reminded of why we are a winning team.
One of our newer foster carers was talking about how fostering has changed her life. She is a single carer, no children of her own and who tentatively took a placement for a teenage girl, in spite of her initial fears and preference for younger children (believing they would present less issues). Well, if ever there was a proud caregiver, she was it.
It was so wonderful to hear her talk about her new life, beyond thinking only of her own needs and what she wanted to do and having to…wanting to…base her decisions on the needs of her new family. The energy that this foster carer gave off was palpable. She is alive and enjoying her role as significant other. She stated that fostering had changed her life immeasurably and that her life was now unrecognisable to what it was a year ago. All this said with a beaming smile, a sense of contentment and pride. The girl she fosters is blossoming into a young woman, about to start college, growing in confidence and coming to terms with the events that have shaped her earlier years.
There are many paths we can choose in life. Some are easier than others. Some affect more people than others. Some have more impact than others. Fostering is an act of kindness, of service, of saying: ‘I have something in my life to offer to others, that will make a difference to them in their current situation…and will help to change the course of their future’. What is a sure thing, is that fostering a child or young person will not only change the life of a child or young person, it will change your life.