Our initial assessment and training took place over a six month period and involved regular meetings with our link social worker from Five Rivers Ireland. We were trained for fostering in general, and for emergency care fostering in particular.
Initially, it was quite daunting to receive a phone call in the middle of the night seeking to place a young person in our care. However, we soon realised that there was nothing to fear and that the person coming to us was in need of an emergency place of safety. As emergency carers since June 2009, we have welcomed several young people, ranging in age from 6 months to 17 years into our home. Placements have lasted from just one night up to seven nights.
For us it has been a most rewarding experience. Our lives have been enriched, especially by the young people who came to stay with us, but also by all the carers and social workers with whom we have come into contact through fostering. We have always felt completely supported by the staff of Five Rivers Ireland and by our own link social worker in particular. It is reassuring to know that there is a social worker on-call 24 hours a day if the need arises.
We are truly glad that we became foster carers. We would recommend to anyone who has an interest in fostering to make enquiries about the different types of fostering possibilities to see which one they may be able to do.