fbpx

Bernadette, a single mum to 3 children, the youngest is now 16 and the only one still at home.   Bernadette lives in Cleveleys and was approved at panel in July 2020.

Life Before becoming a Full Time Foster Carer:

As one of 8 children born to Irish parents, I was always used to being around lots of people in a busy environment and grew up with a strong sense of identity and with good morals and values. Sports was my passion at school.

My mum was my role modal…. a strong woman at the heart of the community where we lived. She always looked after children from our neighbourhood alongside her own.   I am a lot like my mum and naturally find myself supporting those around me.

When my youngest daughter was two years old, I came across a Charity that supported children from Chernobyl to the UK for the summer to stay with families gaining access to medical, dental, and optical treatment whilst having respite from the radiation surrounding them in the Chernobyl region. Our job was to care for the children offering them the opportunity to escape from Chernobyl for a short period and to give them a ‘holiday of a lifetime.

I had my first child over in 2007 and was completely hooked becoming a fundraiser and charity volunteer for almost 10 years.

I don’t do things by halves I’m told,  so gave my life to the charity and to the children and families I supported.

The children I cared for from Chernobyl are an extension to my own family and I am still in contact with some of them.   In 2013 I moved from Wirral to Lancashire after my divorce to give myself and my children a much-needed fresh start and set myself up as a self-employed companion/carer to the elderly and disabled, also working with adults who have learning disabilities.

I quickly realised there were families in need in the area so put on my charity hat on and started a group, encouraging the community to come together to support families in need. We support vulnerable families and victims of domestic violence: collecting food,  clothing and often furniture and delivering it directly to those in need. This is something I’m very proud of and has been a great success but my passion to care for children was still there in abundance.

 

Joining CFS CARE:

In 2019 I decided full time fostering was the path I wanted to go down, so before researching the application process I decided to find an appropriate home in a desirable area where I could care for a child in a safe and happy environment.

By March 2020 I was ready to go!

I explored around 6 fostering agencies but there was something about CFS Care that made me pick up the phone.  From that moment I was at ease and felt welcomed into the company.

The assessment process was in depth but clear and again,  I felt at ease throughout .

The process to panel was about 4 months, which in any situation could be stressful but I needn’t have worried. Panel day came and I felt relaxed knowing that I was ready. It was a pleasant experience.  Panel asked a few questions based on my assessment and I was given the opportunity to ask a few I had.  I was thrilled to pass panel and start my new chapter.

 

CFS CARE:

From the moment I was approved with CFS Care, I have felt like part of a family. Our carers support each other in a way I could have only hoped for, and I’ve made friends for life.

Since being approved with CFS I have cared for 3 children. The current child in my care, a girl of 7 who has settled so well, and it feels like she has always been with me, and I can’t imagine life without her.

I have found my vocation in life, and I am so happy I chose an agency where I very much feel part of a team and to be part of a support network for other carers coming to our agency.  I am very proactive in recruiting new carers and love watching them come from that first phone call to foster carers themselves and part of the CFS family.

I went to panel for my 12-month review in July and it was such a lovely experience to celebrate my first year as a foster parent. I am so looking forward to many more years as a Foster Carer with CFS.

I recommend Fostering to anyone who can commit their time, love and commitment to a child who needs a safe and caring home. Being a single carer never stood in the way of the process and I know CFS will embrace carers from all backgrounds and cultures.

The Training and support we receive from our Supervising Social workers are second to none.

Having access to exceptional Therapy for both carers and children is for me the icing on the cake!

BEST THING I EVER DID!

Read More Fostering Stories

Sara and Vic Fostering Story

0
Sara and Vic have been CFS foster carers since 2020. Based in Lancashire, Sara is a stay-at-home mum, taking care…
Menu