“I thought about fostering on and off for many years and it was when I had my daughter that it really confirmed to me that it is something that I should do in order to be able to help children who unfortunately are not receiving the standard of care that they should be.
“When we were first approved we had four respite placements before having a new born baby placed with us who has been with us now for six months. Having respites first of all really prepared us for what life as foster carers was going to be like.
“During the fostering assessment process you attend a course called Skills to Foster this gave us a good starting point and we found the assessment process really interesting and transparent. We had a brilliant assessor who went through everything with us in great detail which meant there was no surprises to come.
“Before our first placement arrived we felt really nervous! It was the fear of the unknown, we were over thinking everything but then we realised that if we were unsettled then how would the child feel. As soon as they arrived all of that went away and we really enjoyed the experience.
“If I was to speak to someone who was thinking of fostering I would say do it! Make that first step and look into it, fostering children is a wonderful thing to do! We like knowing that were doing our best to enable children to have the best care and the best possible start in life. Don’t hide anything, be open and honest throughout the process and everything runs really smoothly.
“We have a daughter who is 4 years old so providing new born placements works well for our family. If we were to have another child in the house who was older than her we feel she may find it harder to adjust. She has adjusted really well to having younger children around. It’s a huge learning curve for her that she will learn more and more about as she grows up, she understands that the baby will not be staying with us forever and that we are looking after him while his mummy and daddy are not able to, she loves to help us care for him.
“Fostering has changed our lives for the better and made us appreciate life more. Our family dynamics have changed but we have found the right routine to deal with this. When the baby we care for goes to contact with their family members this allows us one to one time with our daughter.
“We love feeling like were doing something good and contributing to local Children's lives! We have a great Supervising Social Worker who is there whenever we need him. It’s good to know we have that support to call upon.
“I am looking forward to undertake my QCF so I can learn more and develop further within my career as a foster carer. Fostering is my career and part of our everyday family lives going forward. We plan to continue fostering for many years to come!”