Renfrewshire Council

Could you make a difference? Fostering Fortnight (13-26 May)

Amy McGranthin is the dedicated social worker whose role is solely to support Renfrewshire's foster carers.

"You don't have to be perfect. Lots of people think you need to have specialist knowledge to become a foster carer, but I think the most important thing is to have a big heart.

"As long as you are open-minded and nurturing, put the child first and are willing to work as part of a team, you can learn on the job."

 

Support, listen and guide

"Carers need someone to be there just for them and who they can rely on. They do a really hard job and need someone to answer questions and provide guidance whenever they need it. You really get to know people through the approval process and it's good for them to have someone they know really well and who there's an existing relationship with.

"I'm a link between them and the child's social worker."

 

More than just a roof over their head ...

"Foster care is about giving them somewhere to be safe to learn the life skills they weren't able to before for whatever reason and for them to be able to just be a kid.

"It's the child feeling they have a team of people in their corner, rooting for them and being given the opportunity to be the best version of themselves"

"There are different types of foster families, from interim to permanent, but the aim is always for the child to feel part of that family and that this is their home too."

 

Good judgement and common sense

"Carers should have good judgement and common sense and treat the child like they would their own. If the child is invited to a play date and you know the family, then that's your judgement, people don't need to phone me up to ask for permission.

"It's about being realistic. Circumstances can also change. We have two people who only wanted to provide short term respite foster care, but they literally fell in love with the children and now have them full time and will have them forever."

"Foster children do often move on, sometimes back to their birth families if it's possible, or are adopted. It's a loss for the carer and foster family and it affects everyone. My role is about being there for them and ensuring they feel part of the future plans.The best way to support them is to ensure they feel included every step of the way and to reassure them that the decisions are made for the best."

"It's about what is best for the child and giving them the best start in life to allow them to be the best version of themselves.

"It's a privilege to be a foster carer."

Interested to find out more? Speak to the fostering team on 0300 300 1199 or email childrenandfamilies@renfrewshire.gov.uk

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