Even for experienced carers, fostering can sometimes be daunting and we are aware that relationships developed as part of your fostering network can be an invaluable source of support but we want to go one step further in ensuring that foster carers are well supported.
We are planning to establish a more formalised peer to peer mentoring service which will initially focus on providing time limited support to those who are newly approved and at the beginning of their fostering career.
Mentoring is about offering support, guidance and a listening ear in a structured way, with experienced foster carers helping those who may be less experienced. It can provide the opportunity to ask honest questions, someone who understands, reassurance, tips and guidance and the opportunity to share experiences. In return it has been shown to increase confidence, allay fears and worries and increase retention of foster carers by reducing isolation.In order to do this we will be consulting with foster carers to get their advice and input.
Not everyone will be in a position to attend meetings but if you have any ideas do feel free to send them to Alyson.firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are planning a pilot project in the south so we can iron out any glitches before we roll it out across all regions. So watch this space as we continue to update you on progress.