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Kirsty’s First Year At Alliance

Hi, I’m Kirsty.

I’ve been part of the Alliance team since July 2017, joining after nine months of travelling the world.

Back in 2012, I achieved an MA in Social Work from the Uni of Leicester and joined the Older Persons Team at Central Bedfordshire Council.

But my true passion was working with children, which led me to move to Northamptonshire County Council’s Disabled Children’s Team.

Following this, I boosted my knowledge of child protection procedures and childcare law in a safeguarding and care planning team, before taking time off for my trip.

When I returned and entered the world of fostering, I received the warmest welcome from my new colleagues at Alliance.

Enjoyable and Rewarding

Supporting foster carers in providing good outcomes for the children they look after is enjoyable and rewarding.

I work alongside carers over a widespread area but am most frequently in Corby, where I help my colleague Diane to run the carer’s support group.

A personal highlight in the last year has been the number of wonderful events meticulously organised by our fantastic support workers.

Seeing the children and young people have fun and make friends is only matched by the chance for our hardworking foster carers to let hair down too.

Varied from Day to Day

Fostering was a new area of social work to me but I learned quickly that the skills a SSW needs are quite varied from day-to-day.

To help ensure quality foster care is delivered, I promote the development of good practice while monitoring our output against required national standards.

And goal setting, as well as gathering feedback from relevant sources is also essential to aid the development of foster carers.

We always encourage our looked after children and young people to be the best they can — and achieving the best outcomes for them is what motivates me.

Observing or hearing about someone make a breakthrough or excel at a challenging task is an unrivalled feeling.

And knowing I’ve been a part of their journey — from difficulty to a safe and happy home environment — is the biggest reward of all.