Foster mother urges people not to be put off by application process
A Suffolk foster mother is urging people who are interested in providing a loving home for a child not to be put off by some of the myths surrounding the application process.
Gemma Curtis, 33, from Haverhill, recently became a foster parent through the Little Acorns agency with husband Michael and said the process was explained well from the beginning.
“The entire process took about six-months to complete and this is as we were told from the outset,” she said.
“From the beginning to the end, we had excellent communications with our assessing social worker and the agency. The process was always explained well and if we had any questions, they were always answered honestly and clearly.
“We felt very comfortable when we appeared before the panel. Everyone explained their various roles and were extremely friendly and welcoming, which put us at ease.
“The Little Acorns team have been fabulous throughout our journey. We can call them or pop in at any time if we need to.
“Don't be put off by the process, whilst it is in depth, it was also a learning process for us and we now can't wait to welcome the first child into our home.”
Little Acorns launched a campaign last year after statistics revealed there was a significant shortage of foster carers in the east of England.
The campaign resulted in some potential foster parents coming forward, but more are still needed.
Cheryl Jillions, registered manager at the Great Wratting-based agency, near Haverhill, said: “There are so many myths surrounding the process of becoming a foster parent and we want to dispel these myths so more people come forward to provide vulnerable children with a loving and supportive family environment.
“While the assessment of becoming a foster parent is thorough, it is to ensure the safeguarding of vulnerable children and that the potential family have all the right ingredients to become a foster carer.
“Anyone who applies to become a foster parent will be treated with complete respect and will receive excellent support from a team of professionals to make their application as smooth as possible.
“As part of the application there will come a point where the potential foster parents will have to go before a panel, but even that isn't the daunting experience many expect.
“Anyone appearing before the panel, supported by their assessing social worker, will be made to feel comfortable and will be treated with dignity and respect throughout. They will also be well prepared and briefed prior to appearing.”
For more information on Little Acorns Fostering, visit www.littleacornsfostering.co.uk, telephone 01440 732010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org