Trevor talks: My parents inspired me to step up to social work

A former foster brother and long-serving social worker at Somerset County Council has shared why he was “destined” for a career in social care.

crop Trevor Goss for web

Trevor Goss, a Fostering and Adoption Recruitment Service Team Manager, grew up as a birth son in a family who fostered teenagers. He has written a blog about his experiences for The Fostering Network’s Sons and Daughters Month (1-31 October) – a campaign celebrating the vital contribution made by foster carers’ birth children.

Trevor, who lives near Ilminster, hopes to encourage Somerset individuals and families to foster older children who are in need of care in the county. The Council seeks local foster carers for children over 10, and teenagers, in Somerset’s main towns, including Yeovil, Shepton Mallet, Taunton, Bridgwater, Frome and Minehead.

We also need people who can foster disabled children, siblings, and who could provide children with a place to call home long term.

“All families are different, but with an adopted sister, parents who fostered and a brother with haemophilia, I spent much of my childhood involved in social care issues,” writes Trevor. “Add to this a mother who was herself fostered, and who worked in a psychiatric unit, and I guess I was destined to a career working somewhere in social care.

“Over the past 50 plus years, I have almost continuously been involved with fostering and seen so many changes. Through fostering siblings and teenagers to young mums, the experiences of being a young person in a fostering household proved both interesting and embarrassing in equal measure.

“My parents stopped fostering for a while in my teenage years, then started again when I went to university – but neglected to tell me. They decided to foster pregnant teenage girls. When I returned for the university holidays I was confronted with a heavily pregnant young lady who had just moved in, and neighbours with a nudge, nudge, wink wink, mentality who clearly reached their own conclusions about my activities at university.

“I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a social worker, and after a few years working in generic child care, often with children in foster care, it was no surprise to anyone when I applied to work in fostering and adoption.

“Most [foster carers] are motivated to volunteer for the task for the same reasons I do: we want to make a positive difference to a child or young person’s life.

“I know that the time a child spends in foster care is never wasted; it gives them the opportunity to have a positive experience of family life, for however long they are placed, and it is an experience that they can refer to later when they become parents themselves.”

If you think you have the space in your home and your heart to foster, our Fostering Team would love to hear from you.

Please phone 0800 587 9900 or visit www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk to find out more.

DON’T MISS! October 2015 events
• Our next information-packed session on fostering and adoption is being held at the Balsam Centre in Wincanton, on Wednesday 21 October, 7pm-9pm
• Find out how you can help change the life of a child or young person in need of care at Yeovil College, 2.30pm-8pm on Tuesday 27 October, at the ‘Doing Good For Somerset’ Voluntary and Community event
• Or if you have the skills to support a child with a disability – whether a learning disability, a physical or sensory disability, significant health care needs, or a combination of these – come to Critchill School in Frome, 7pm-8.30pm, Thursday 15 October, to find out about being a Short Break Carer.

You can read more about The Fostering Network’s Sons and Daughters Month by visiting http://www.fostering.net/policy-and-campaigns/campaigns/sons-daughters#.VgkQ4stViko

Click here to read Trevor’s blog in full: www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk/sons-and-daughters-month-trevors-blog