Hi Sophie, could you introduce yourself and let us know your role within Foster Care Solutions?
My name is Sophie, I work for Foster Care Solutions in Durham as a Senior Administrator.
How long have you worked for Foster Care Solutions?
Wow, that’s quite a while! Why did you choose this job?
I started off in a general office position and then progressed to the role of Senior. When I first started with FCS I had been interested in working in an administrative position but the nature of what FCS do really appealed to me and I wanted to be part of a team helping children and young people.
Did you need to study anything in particular for your role?
I did not need to complete any specific qualifications and have been lucky enough to be supported to undertake additional training and qualifications whilst on the job. I did require some office experience in order to be considered for an administration role, but skills, enthusiasm, and personality were probably just as important.
What do you love about your job?
No two days are the same and the work is varied and often very creative. The whole agency is very child focused and everything we do is about achieving better outcomes for vulnerable children and young people and giving our foster carers the best support possible to be able to do that. I have worked for FCS for many years and during that time I have come to know our foster carers very well, and the whole agency has a very family orientated feel and approach. The team constantly strives to offer the best service we can, and to wherever possible include children, young people, and foster carers in improving our service. In particular, the children have helped us create brand new documents such as the Children’s Charter, and our Hello Hello booklet for children moving into a new foster placement. The annual Christmas party is also a highlight, as here we celebrate the achievements of the children and foster carers over the year.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Seeing placements break down is very hard, we take matching very seriously so this does not happen often, but it is difficult for both children and carers when this happens.
Could you tell us about your happiest working memory?
The FCS Christmas Party 2015 we held a prom. In preparation for the event we asked all fostered children/young people to tell us what their FCS carer was really good at, we then commemorated these comments in certificates and gave these to the carers at the party as a surprise. We were overwhelmed with what the children/young people had to say and I think everyone was very moved. It just cemented why foster carers are so important and what an amazing difference they make.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of fostering?
Fostering is life-changing for both the child and the carer and is definitely more than just a job! It is demanding but can also be extremely rewarding. My advice would be to those who have been thinking about it for a while, just take the first step and get in touch. The more information you have the better informed you will be, you may look into it and decide it’s not for you after all, or you may decide to go ahead and never look back. but if you don’t take the first step you’ll never know!
What qualities do you think a person needs to be successful in a role like yours?
Patience, calmness, attention to detail, thoroughness, creativity, good computer skills, friendliness, professionalism, warmth, a strong team player, supportive, empathetic, resourcefulness, confidence, and willingness to go the extra mile.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of entering a similar profession to you?
It’s important to care about what you do, it keeps you motivated even on a less good day. Working in an administrative position in a caring profession is a great way to make a difference from behind the scenes and is a vital part of any organisation.
Thank you, Sophie
Want to know more about how you could foster with Foster Care Solutions? Take a look here or fill in the form below.