What is it like to have a full-time placement?
By Sarah Cattell
"Adapting to family life was hard, but we now enjoy birthdays and Christmas together. This was quite overwhelming from the start but with love, patience and support we now have a fab time!"
I’ve found that customers requiring a full time placement sometimes have challenging behaviours, learning difficulties, mental health issues and even troubled pasts – which just means they need even more love and support.
So don’t let this put you off!
Becoming someone’s main support and carer is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. There is fun and laughter, and amazing milestones that will be hit! It is a challenge, but I cannot stress enough how rewarding welcoming someone into your home fulltime truly is.
Our customer is like a second son. We don’t need to share his challenges – but his experiences and achievements we will shout from the roof tops!
Imagine coming into someone’s home and not knowing who they are or what to expect – experiencing things you may have never experienced before. We knew it could be scary, so we did our best to be welcoming and calm. We set boundaries and expectations from the get-go, we wanted it to be as easy as possible for everyone.
Adapting to family life was hard, but we now enjoy birthdays and Christmas together. This was quite overwhelming from the start but with love, patience and support we now have a fab time!
We introduced him to college and supported him to set ideas and plans for the future. We’ve had bumps in the road, but nothing we couldn’t overcome. He’s now almost finished level one, and now has a clear idea of what his goals are for the future. And when he came home with a certificate in health and safety, we were so proud.
It can be challenging learning to adapt to rules and boundaries, but through good communication and mutual respect we have made it work. Consistency and support are a must. Together, we reflect on the choices we’ve made and talk about the consequences of our decisions – making sure we’ve thought those consequences through before making a decision.
I like to be that listening ear when he needs to talk. No pressure, but we now know each other very well and I feel honoured to be the one he turns to when he needs any help or support.
We’ve now met his girlfriend, and we approve. Such a lovely girl, and now we have the challenge that hormones bring to deal with. We make sure we share advice, reassurance and safety skills, but at the same time we enjoy watching him have fun. Now we can meet in gardens we have had the meet the parents/carers and we passed!
The future looks bright and I can’t wait for him to progress further, develop skills and become who he wants to be.