A young Somerset couple who are full-time Foster Carers have launched a documentary-style video blog or “v-log” all about fostering on YouTube.
Trudy Patch, 36, and her husband Matt, 40, began fostering for Somerset County Council in June 2013, and live in Frome. Originally approved for 0-to-6-year-olds, they now foster a 14 year-old on a permanent basis after deciding they wanted to care for teenagers. Trudy is also the Chair of the voluntary Somerset Foster Care Association.
Trudy and Matt’s v-log is set to be a regular fixture on YouTube, with the pair recording episodes of their video blog on their fostering experiences. The couple are keen to share their insights into different aspects of fostering: from why a strong support network is vital, to tackling your first placement. Matt also plans to have a solo slot about what it’s like to be a male foster carer.
In Episode One, filmed in Trudy and Matt’s back garden and available here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08epcPn2Imc they talk about:
Why they got into fostering:
Trudy: “Just because we love children… we can’t have any more children of our own and just thought about what can we do to fill our house up with kids.”
Matt: “It kind of started for me when my middle boy was new-born, had my own business, so I was never at home, love children and it really got me down … so we took a big [life style change] because we are so child-centred, and so we went down the fostering route… it’s probably been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.”
On why you need to be child-centred Foster Carers:
Matt: “It’s a big deal for children coming into care. I think probably to them they perhaps don’t think that they’ve done anything wrong to be in care…”
Trudy: “And they haven’t. But I think for me the biggest challenge is realising that actually, when you’re a foster carer, you have to remember that you are a foster carer, and you are not…”
Matt: “You’re not trying to be their mum or dad…”
Trudy: “…’Cause more often than not they do have birth families that you have to work with as a team, in daily life… whether it comes down to a haircut or can they go out at the weekend, or holidays, so it’s all about working together, which is the most interesting part, we find, of fostering.”
And who they would like to see become foster carers for Somerset:
Trudy: “We need some more young fresh blood…”
Matt: “Enthusiastic people that really want to make a difference, that really want to get involved, that want to put that child first … take that child from whatever they’ve come from… ”
Trudy: “And let them experience life…”
Matt: “And try to educate and support them…”
Trudy: “So they can grow as a person, and hopefully in that time of them growing in your house…”
Matt: “You can make that little bit of difference.”
Somerset County Council continues to seek:
- Foster Carers for older children and young people
- People who could foster brothers and sisters
- Skilled individuals who can care for children with disabilities
- Understanding people who have the space in their lives to help a troubled teenager experiencing tough times.
Find out how you can make a difference as a Foster Carer in Somerset – visit www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk, phone 0800 587 9900, ‘like’ the Fostering in Somerset Facebook page or follow @fostersomerset on Twitter.