“Right from the beginning of our process Olive Branch couldn’t have been more welcoming, supportive and almost like family.”
Our application process started with us being a little unsure whether we were doing the right thing, whether people would look down on us because of our age or if we would even be eligible to apply. Paisley soon put our mind at ease and was brilliant with us throughout our whole application process. She gave us all the information and support we needed!
We really enjoyed the skills to foster training as it really gave us an insight into the fostering world. Joanne was excellent, she used practical real-life scenarios and case studies, and was very good at delivering the training. It was also brilliant to meet other prospective carers who we got along with and are excited to hopefully see them at the next Foster Carers Forums and catch up.
We were extremely nervous on Panel day, as it can sound like such a daunting experience. We quickly learnt that this wasn’t the case as we were immediately put at ease by every panel member. We found Panel day such an enjoyable and proud day! We loved meeting everyone and discussing our reasons for fostering and everyone was so supportive and positive towards us.
Kirsty (who finds our placements) has been excellent, she is so easy to talk to and has been in contact with us constantly and has never made us feel pressured into taking a placement unless we are extremely comfortable. She also helps to reassure us and helped us not to feel disheartened when we weren’t immediately placed. It is easy to think when you are approved as Foster Carers you will be offered a placement and it’s as easy as that. We didn’t realise it doesn’t always run as smoothly as that. You might get offered placements, that then don’t come to you for one reason or another, so Kirsty has been there to guide us and support us throughout this whole process!
Our first placement may have only been short and sweet with 3 little girls arriving for only 3 days, however we absolutely loved it. So many happy memories will stay with us forever and it really affirmed to us we had made the best decision choosing to become foster carers and we cannot wait for the future. Right from being told there is a possible placement for you there is someone with you every step of the way, even when a placement arrives at 7.30pm at night we had constant contact with the ‘on call’ social worker, the children’s social worker who stayed until they were settled and then our social worker visited first thing the next day. Andrea our supervising social worker is brilliant. Right from our very first meeting we have got on so well, she is always supportive and we know she will be there for us with whatever and whenever we need.