Today we are introducing you to a new staff member… but a strangely familiar face! Please join us in welcoming Patricia Moore as our Support Worker for our South-Central Region. Patricia has previously been a long-term Foster Carer with our South-Central team, before joining us as a Support Worker recently. We are so excited to welcome Patricia to The CFT staff team!
Patricia is very passionate about Fostering, and she believes the knowledge and experience that she possesses as a former Foster Carer will bring new dimensions to her support worker role. Patricia has also been conducting workshops for new Foster Carers to help them prepare them for their new fostering role.
We took some time to sit with Patricia (virtually) to get to know her better and find out how she feels about her new role, and her new insight into a different aspect of the organisation…
Tell us something about yourself Patricia?
“To start with, I will say I love what I am doing. I love children, and I am passionate about Fostering and helping children. I am originally from Argentina; however, I have been in England for 40 years, and for most of my life I have worked mainly in the education sector. As a person, I am passionate about helping people. When I lived in London, I worked in administration for different universities and usually dealt with day-to-day problems faced by students. I have also worked in a language school as an International welfare officer, supporting students from abroad requiring help with accommodation, medical, or sometimes visa-related issues. It was my job to assist them with any problems that they had, and my jobs have always involved helping. I have also done a lot of teaching abroad as well as in England, and I used to work in a college as a Spanish teacher. Even after all the different experiences I have had, I would say Fostering has taken me to a different level professionally.
Apart from my work, in my free time, I love walking. I love nature and living near the beach gives me the fortune to enjoy both. I enjoy reading and I also have a keen interest in politics. Apparently, I am a good cook, so I love cooking and preparing meals. My legacy is cooking, and all my foster children love the food I prepare. It’s a real passion of mine”.
You were initially a Foster Carer and now you are a Support Worker. How do you feel now that you have a different role within the Fostering world?
“Well, I love Fostering. I absolutely love looking after children. Many people have asked me “What is the best thing about Fostering?” and without a doubt, I would say the children. Children are definitely the highlight of Fostering. After 6 years in Fostering, my husband and I decided to retire to spend our time with family. So, when I heard about this role, I thought this was a kind of natural progression, as it comes as second nature to me. I feel that I will be able to help more children in this role by supporting the Foster Carers and I feel this role means that I can still make a difference. I have always loved The CFT and am thrilled that I can continue to work with the organisation.
I have lots of ideas of how to support Foster Carers and feel that my previous experience of a carer allows me to relate to any issues they are facing with more understanding. When a Foster Carer talks, I understand that he/she may be stressed or feeling overwhelmed, and I also know that it is temporary. Fostering can feel a little like a roller coaster at times, and carers just need the right support to help them through this, which CFT provide. I would have never made the change from being a Foster Carer to a Support Worker if I hadn’t believed in The CFT.”
What attracted you to become a Foster Carer?
“Now this is a bit of an interesting story. When I first moved into my current home, I was chatting with my next-door neighbour over the fence and she told me she was nervous. When I asked her why, she explained that she was a Foster Carer and that she was getting her first placement that day. Later that day, I saw a young 14-year-old boy arrive and long story short – I became really close to him. I loved talking with him and saw a real change in him, and this led me to think that maybe I could foster.
It’s big commitment to bring a child into your home and I want to be sure that I had the necessary qualities to be a foster carer. I had teenage children at that point (20 & 17), and they wanted to be sure that it is not dangerous, so I did my research. It was very important to me that my family were supportive of our plans, and so we had many discussions before making the decision together as a family to foster. I had initially approached a few independent fostering agencies and found that they were not the right fit me for. Shortly afterward, my neighbour introduced me to The CFT and from within 5 minutes of the CFT Social Worker walking into my home, I thought yes, they are the agency for me”.
Tell us something more about your Fostering experience?
“I had a very successful placement for five years. He left our home two and a half years ago, but he still calls me nearly every day. He is part of my family, and he is very successful now. It’s great to see how he has transitioned into being an adult over the years, and it is very impressive. Fostering is so rewarding because of that, and I can say I am as close to him as any mother should be. When he arrived with us, he was so confused, upset, and angry, and now he has joined the Army, and he is doing well. It’s amazing to see how he has grown.”
What inspired you to pursue the career you have today? What motivates you at work?
“I believe in a better world and I also think that we can all do well in life. If we have the right conditions and believe that we can all help others, we can all live in a better society. I believe children are the future of any community and if you invest time in children, you will invest time in the future.”
What do you like so far about the organisation?
“The fact that The CFT is a non-profit charity organisation and always trying to improve the service. I also like the ‘family for life’ Ethos of the organisation, as this is what I exactly do with my foster children.
I also like how much CFT cares for their staff, which I have noticed from day one. I enjoyed talking to different people in the company when I first started, and everyone was very friendly.”
What skill do you think everyone should learn- as a Foster Carer and Social Worker?
“I feel that being organised and empathetic is essential to both roles. It is also important to be reflective, because there may be occasions where you can look at a situation and think ‘I could have done this differently or better.”
What do you hope to achieve during your first year with the organisation?
“I want to establish myself in this role, as it is the first time the south central team have had a support worker. Currently, I am working remotely, which is an experience, but I like new challenges. I would like to get to know the children a little better, as I already know many of the foster carers. I am also getting to know some of the newer carers because I am doing a lot of training with them, so that’s good. I have become part of the team quite quickly, which previously I was worried about because they were the ones supervising me before, but after working with the team, my worry is long gone.
I want to be able to help Supervising Social Workers as much as I can, and I am also open to trying different tasks within the role. We deal with people, so our role is quite evolving, and I am happy to grow according to the requirement of my office.”
We would like to thank Patricia for taking the time to speak to us and for her work so far with the organisation.
On behalf of all of The CFT, we would like to extend our warmest welcome and best wishes to Patricia!