Foster Care Spotlight – Dionne Hall

How long have you been a foster carer?
I’ve been a carer with my husband, Stephen, for 9 years.

Why did you decide to be a foster carer?
Prior to applying I’d always worked in the private sector but had a desire to give something back to society. Fostering seemed like something that I could do and the circumstances were right so we applied. My familes were a little surprised and were unsure how we would be able to manage but were very supportive.

What have been the challenges?
Being honest I think the relationship with the children’s social workers has been hard at times more than challenges with the children. They often have policies and procedures to follow and they don’t always understand how the child may behave or interact with our family. Also, our family culture is that we support and look after each other so the fostered children meet our wider family on a weekly basis and that’s normal in our family and community but it’s a little new for some professionals.

What have been the best bits?
Looking after children, helping them and instilling really positive values into them is our passion, we may not see the rewards immediately or until they’re older. I’m passionate that the children we look after don’t become another statistic of children in care so we support and encourage them to do well in education and in all areas of their lives. Also, the support we get from PCC as foster carers has been really good. They are always at the end of the phone with support, advice and encouragement as well as keeping us safe.

What would you say to anybody thinking of fostering?
Do it! It’s rewarding and you’ll be surprised at what you’ll learn about yourself and what you can achieve.