Initially, they were caring for him as a ‘bridging’ placement, but such is the bond they’ve formed, that Ronan is staying with them on a long-term basis. Here’s a little snapshot of the progress they are all making.
“We’re fairly new to the school run with Ronan. In fact, we’re fairly new to the whole wide world of fostering, so, in a way, we’re finding our feet together, which, as it turns out, is a good thing. When he arrived with us, he knew we were just embarking on our career as Foster Carers and he was new to us so it gives us a common ground” explains Viv.
“Some days, the trip home can be a challenge for us all. The training from our colleagues at Blue Sky equips us with the understanding and techniques to diffuse any upset, to calm him and to keep him positive and help him to make sense of how the world works and understand how his behaviour affects others. We’ve an array of newly learnt skills!”
“You see, Ronan’s no different from any other child, he just hasn’t had the nurturing and cherishing that gives other children security and confidence. We know we have to be at the school gates a good five minutes before the bell goes. We know he’ll be looking out of his classroom window to make sure one of us is there.”
“So, on Friday just gone, his head popped up by the window in his Maths classroom just as I arrived in the car park. He even gave me a little wave (a major step forward), when we get a grin we’ll know we’re really succeeding, but for now, a wave is great! Anyway, in due course, the bell rang and he came bounding down the stairs and literally burst out of the door. He seemed more relaxed, more child-like, just happier.”
"We’ve made a difference, we’ve really done it. That’s exactly why we became Foster Carers!"
“As a rule, our daily post-school conversation during the drive home doesn’t vary wildly. There’s usually an issue to discuss (and believe me, it’s progress enough that he wants to talk about his day at all!). Sometimes, it’s about a conflict that’s taken place. Not serious enough for the school to contact us about, but something that has upset him – or he’s upset someone else. But Friday’s discussion was different and it went like this:
Me: “How was school?”
Ronan: “OK. Josh kicked me and tried to punch me.”
Me: “And what did you do?”
Ronan: “Nothing. I wanted to hit him back but I didn’t”
Me: ” Well done, you are doing really well controlling your temper”
Ronan: “Do you know how I’m doing it?”
Me: “No, how?”
Ronan: “You. You and Carol helped me do it.”
“We’ve made a difference, we’ve really done it. That’s exactly why we became Foster Carers!”
“Well, it’s fair to say I had a massive lump my throat and my eyes were leaking silent tears. Ronan’s made massive progress; knows he has choices and can use them to control his behaviour. We’re beyond proud.”
“All I could say to anyone thinking about becoming a Foster Carer, is please, don’t waste time over-thinking it. That’s time you could be spending helping a young person to make choices, to settle, be confident in themselves and feel how every child should feel – secure and wanted. Go on, call Blue Sky today 0800 035 6499 or just click here. It’s simple.”