Earlier this year, Hackney’s Fostering Service launched an Ambassador Scheme which called on its community of foster carers to speak up for fostering and mentor those newly approved by Hackney.
Becoming a foster carer is a big commitment. The Fostering Service believe it is important to provide those considering this invaluable vocation, with information that will help them make the right decision as well as support that will help them go from strength to strength once approved.
In August, Valerie Brown was the first appointed Hackney Fostering Ambassador and mentor.
I have been a foster carer for over 20 years, so I have a lot of experience in the field. I wanted to become a mentor because there have been occasions when new foster carers have been unsure who to contact with some of their questions. So I thought, if I can be an advocate for the children then why not be an advocate for our new foster carers too?
I am excited about welcoming new foster carers into our community and providing them with additional support to help them along their journey.
As well as one to one mentoring of new foster carers, Valerie also offers her support at community and fostering events, sharing her experiences as a foster carer for Hackney and the rewarding experience she believes it to be.
Hackney hopes that this peer mentoring provision will enhance the professional support and training package already offered to Hackney foster carers alongside competitive financial support and platforms to have their voices heard.