Over 100 Lambeth kids will need a temporary home this year

6 January, 2015

Written by: Charmaine Fannis

Fostering and adoption > Guest posts

If you live in or near Lambeth, have a spare room and want to provide a safe, supportive home to a child who needs one – you can help!

New foster parent, Charmaine Fannis, 38, shares what motivated her to foster; and how she and her foster son are doing a year on:

Over 100 Lambeth kids will need a temporary home this year

Why I foster

I’d been interested in fostering for years because I know foster carers (and their foster children) and saw for myself the difference they make to those kids.  I wanted to do the same for a child who needs me.  It wasn’t until my children had left home, that I felt I had the room and time to take on a foster child. That’s when I decided to finally do it.

Why becoming a foster parent was the right thing for me to do

I’ve been helping a nine-year-old boy since July 2013. He was understandably apprehensive when he first moved in because it was his first time away from his home. I was a little nervous too, if I’m honest!

But I think I’ve been able to make a positive contribution to his life, by settling him into a routine, improving his diet and making him part of our family. He seems happy and his school results have improved since he’s been here and that makes me feel really good.

Over the past year we’ve grown close. He’s part of my family and I’m part of his. As far as I’m concerned, he’s no different to my biological children. He’s a welcome addition to the family whether he’s here for one more day or for another 10 years.

Top tip for new foster carers

Never think you’re alone. There’s always help available from other carers and the social workers too. There’s also lots of training. You can learn about first aid, managing stress and so much more.

I’ve found the support services, especially the monthly support groups, very helpful because I’m new to fostering and it’s a good way of meeting other foster carers and it’s also a good opportunity to get advice from the supervising social worker.

Why fostering matters

A lot of children need help.  It makes you feel really good to help a child who needs you because you can make a real difference to them!

Being approved as a foster carer

I was approved as a foster carer last February. The process was a little daunting at first because it was a new experience, but it was pretty quick and straightforward.

Myths about fostering

You don’t have to own your own home, be in a relationship, or not work.

I’m single, live in a council home and was working full time when my boy moved in. Because he’s school-age, there’s no need for me to be home with him all day.

Find out if fostering is for you

Visit: lambeth.gov.uk/fosteringandadoption/fostering

Call: 020 7926 8710

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