Our Experience of Fostering with CFT by Nay and Liz Carter-Williams
We had really only looked at two foster carer’s companies/charities. We spoke to both whilst at Birmingham Pride. CFT really stood out to us as they didn’t pressure us. They answered our questions that we had at the time but it was very informative and it felt personal even at that early stage. We were given handouts etc. so once we got home we looked them up and loved the fact that: 1.) They were all about the children, helping out after the age of 18 etc. 2.) They were a charity. We had heard about different fostering companies using fostering as a business which doesn’t sit well with us. All we want to do is help and support children who deserve a second chance in life and the CFT have the same values as we do.
No one can prepare you for the ‘Form F’ document that needs to be produced. Independent assessors or internal assessors will tell you that it is personal and it will and could be at times be over whelming. What you will find out is that it really makes you think about everything you have gone through to get to this stage in your life and in some cases relive thoughts and feelings (good and bad) that you have gone through.
In our case we had a bad experience of school for Liz VS a good experience at school for Nay and then a good experience coming out for Liz VS a bad experience coming out for Nay. Which in itself brings up some distressing feelings. As a same sex couple we have had our own ups and downs individually whilst in our relationship and going through the ‘Form F’ has made it very apparent that our relationship is the strongest part of us as a unit. Our ability to support and communicate with one another in difficult circumstances whatever that may be.
As a whole the process was very revealing and we found out new things about each other which, to be honest, we didn’t think was possible. It’s a long process that when you start, you’re like ‘I don’t know how I’m going to get through this’ but blink, and you will miss it. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and knowledge that once you are on you can start to understand the emotions that a looked after child may go through. No matter what our ‘coming out’ experience has been we could think of nothing worse than going through it without our families there with us.
Being the first same sex couple here at the CFT you could forgive them for not quite knowing how to support us through this process, but they have been there for us as a couple as well as individually and the experience has been priceless. The team here at the CFT are brilliant in every way and we are extremely lucky to be working with them in giving a child a safer home.
This day is quite possibly the most scary day so far in our journey. It consists of 7 people who either work directly with the CFT or are independents. There are also looked after children who have been through the CFT journey.
Although this is something that everyone has to go through and if you weren’t ready for panel you wouldn’t be going, there is an element of doubt in your head. The panel, however, are the nicest people. They talk to you like they have known you for years and it is extremely comforting. They all got to read our ‘Form F’ so they already knew a lot about us and in our experience all they really wanted to know was who we were away from the paper, in real life, why we chose the CFT and what do we think we would bring to the charity.
All in all the whole process has been humbling, eye opening, hard at times but the best decision we have ever made.
Nay & Liz Carter-Williams
If you are or know someone interested in Fostering – please contact us on 0300 111 1945 or click the ‘Foster for The CFT’ button for more information