Aisha and Chris had been considering fostering for a number of years when Aisha suggested they think about specialist foster caring. Working with children in a residential setting over a number of years meant that Aisha in particular had many skills to bring to fostering.
With the last of their own children leaving home for university, Aisha felt that as well as her work experience, she and Chris would also now have the time and space to foster a young person with complex needs.
Aisha knew that working as a specialist carer would mean she would be able to leave her work role and foster full time, thanks to the high fee paid to specialist foster carers by North Yorkshire in addition to the allowance paid for the young person – generally all tax free.
Following family discussions, which included honest and open chats with their own children, they decided it was the right time to become foster carers.
They still had some questions but the Fostering North Yorkshire team were on hand to provide information and answers - and also to put them in contact with other specialist carers – who would soon become part of Aisha and Chris’s own support network.
Specialist foster caring can be challenging and intense as it requires working with some of the county’s more complex young people who may have experienced significant childhood trauma.
However as Aisha and Chris soon discovered, this can be incredibly rewarding emotionally and the generous payments and allowances ensured Aisha had enough time and availability to offer, by becoming a full time foster carer. Most importantly, local social work teams provide all the support and advice needed, plus access to specialist support from North Yorkshire’s dedicated psychology service.
Aisha said, "I have to admit we were quite apprehensive in the run up to the first young person who joined our family as we weren’t sure exactly what to expect or if we would know how to handle it. Now, looking back I am so glad we made the move into specialist care. There have certainly been difficult times and we have heard about some really disturbing things that young people should never have to go through but the change and growth in the children we have looked after when they are offered a stable, caring environment is incredible to see".