I’m not an avid fan of Celebrity Big Brother but a recent headline did catch my eye, where Linda Nolan expressed concern that the perception of her post-CBB would have a detrimental effect on her fostering role. She has been quoted as saying: “…. I hope this won't cause any problems with my fostering... I've been very up front and they know me very well now.... I don't think it will be anything horrendous - except perhaps some of the language - but I never swear in front of children anyway."
But is Linda Nolan alone in her concerns? This is not the first time that I have reflected on the challenge of fostering, where perhaps more than most professions, the personal/professional interplay is blurred and where foster carers, in essence, are not entitled to a ‘private’ life. Their home is their workplace and their family are their colleagues and when it comes to the care of a child who is looked after, there is no such thing as ‘behind close doors’. In a professional context where transparency is key, I cannot help but wonder how this could perpetuate a Machiavellian-style professional cloak.
I’d safely bet that many of us would flinch at the prospect of having a torch light, let alone TV cameras, shining on us 24 hours a day. So is Linda Nolan alone? How do foster carers preserve their own identity, which may be different to their professional persona? When do they have the time to release? For many of us, when we ‘slip up’, we put it down to being human….are foster carers ever really afforded the same?
Strategic Development Executive