Getting the call for my first ever placement was a momentous occasion for me. I had been waiting for it to happen and it was hugely exciting when I was told a baby would be placed in my care.
I was given a briefing over the phone on his condition, his age and the reasons surrounding his placement.
I was told that he would arrive at my home with the child’s social worker by early evening. That gave me enough time to put things in place for example, the bedding in the cot, buying formula milk, bottles, clothing and setting out the room.
Most of the baby equipment and safety items were already in place so I was ready and waiting for this placement.
I was so excited to hear that our first child was coming and I can’t explain the joy we were experiencing as well the apprehension of what was to come. I spoke with my children again about what was about to happen and explained that our job was to give this child as much care and love we could and help him through this difficult time.
Once the baby arrived the child’s social worker ran through the “placement plan” informing me of the details. There was a lot to go through and the procedure is very detailed.
It was all very new to us, the information and jargon used was a little overwhelming at first. My support worker helped me through understanding the procedure and introduced me to other experienced carers through a “buddying” system, enabling me to have immediate assistance and advice. I found this really reassuring and throughout my first placement my ‘buddys’ did provide a lot of support and help. I know enjoy being able to do the same thing for other new carers.
The experience with my first placement cemented my love for fostering and inspired me to continue with my passion.
Four years down the track I remember the butterflies from that first ever phone call, and can still say that with each new placement there is still a sense of excitement and intrigue into what each new child will bring to my family, and what we can do to help them.