Foster Care Fortnight is a campaign delivered each year by The Fostering Network and this year it runs from 11th to 24th May 2020 to raise awareness of fostering and how positively impactful it can be on a child or young person’s life. It also gives everyone in the fostering community to celebrate the big differences that can be made through fostering!
Our carer Gareth is his owns words gives us a great account of his daily routine whilst been a foster carer.
Not going with the flow.
It’s early, and my alarm beeps.
Not too loud. I don’t want to take the kids.
A few years ago I left the travel company I had started 10 years earlier. I thought it would be a break from the early morning starts. I was wrong.
My day starts at 5am.
I’ve tried a few different strategies. This is what works best for us.
As a single carer to 3 children, I’m sure we would struggle for time even if there were 48 hours in a day. I need to be smart about how we use the time we’re given.
I get 2 hours to myself. It’s calm and quiet (apart from the dog… she’s less bothered about waking the kids). I get ready, shower, and catch up on some work.
Once the kids start waking up, my day really begins.
Usually, we would be rushing to get ready. For school, for rugby, for a party. There’s always something. Except now, when there’s nothing.
Along with the devastation, Coronavirus has brought with it a lot of change. For kids who’ve been through too much change in their short lives, that’s not a good thing.
We did a few days of relaxed rules and ‘going with the flow’. It really wasn’t working.
Now we have our daily structure. It helps me to get on with the job of running the house, and setting aside time to spend with each of them every day. Routine is like a warm blanket that the kids get wrapped up in. It’s a reminder that they’re safe. That someone is looking after them.
A typical day now is less rushing for them, and probably a little more rushing for me. There are board games to be played, drawings to be created (thanks YouTube!), stories to be read, oh and things like tea to be cooked (although we’re very grateful that BBQ weather has arrived once again).
It’s hard work. But it’s also great fun. And, importantly, it matters.
When I’m tired, and feeling a bit exhausted, I often remind myself that I’m changing someone else’s life. It shouldn’t be a shock that it involves a bit of hard work. And it’s the best motivator to keep going.
Gareth foster carer for NFA Wales
If you think you could be a foster carer like Gareth then we have a great team on hand to provide you with lots of information and to help you start your fostering adventure.