Guess who fosters in Warrington
May 2, 2014
What does a foster carer look like? What skills and qualities do foster carers need?
This year’s theme for Foster Care Fortnight 12-25 May helps answer these questions by asking you guesswhofosters with our quiz and also meet some of our fantastic foster carers, to see for yourself that just like a good box of chocolates, they are all very different!
Bob, 62, is a HGV driver/drayman and Jackie, 57, owned a fashion shop before becoming a full time foster carer. Jackie and Bob have been fostering since 2007. They transferred from a private fostering agency to Warrington Fostering Service in 2012.
“Our neighbour and friend is a foster carer and we saw the children she was looking after on a daily basis. In fact, we met them on the first day they arrived, and later commented to each other how the children’s eyes looked empty when they arrived. Over such a short space of time, we saw these children change so much. Their empty expressions were replaced with sparkly eyes, cheeky grins and they became happy, fun loving children again.
The difference was massive. Bob and I decided we wanted to make that difference too.
We now have 4 girls placed with us, a sibling group of 3 aged 6, 8 and 10 and a 15 year old who has been part of our family for 6 years. Each one of them has their own very different needs and their own little bag of worries, which we are working through.
Our youngest son Jason 31, said to us recently, “you have done some amazing things in your life, but fostering has to be the best.”
We all feel these children have filled places in our hearts that we didn’t even know were empty”.
Craig, 38 is a part time tutor and worked as a teacher before reducing his hours to concentrate on fostering teenagers. Craig has been fostering for Warrington for 8 years.
Kyle is now in his second year at EdgeHill University studying a degree in Sports Science. I’ve known Kyle nearly eight years since I first became a foster carer for Warrington, it was something I had thought about for a long time. I’d always worked with children and young people, but wasn’t sure if, as a single, gay man, I was what they were looking for. A friend of mine eventually told me to just ring and find out, I’m so glad I did. A member of Warrington Fostering service visited me at home and answered all my questions – and helped me think about whether it was right for me – I’ve never looked back.
Kyle was my first foster child. At age 12 he had lived in a lot of short term foster placements and had also spent time in residential care. He had a very disrupted life, at school this lead to poor behaviour and difficulties learning which is completely understandable. It took time for him to trust me and realise this wasn’t just another temporary situation. But as he became more settled, with a secure home, his achievements in school improved and he has become a more confident and mature young man. I am so proud of his success and hard work, all he really needed was what many young people take for granted, a stable home, and someone to fight his corner when things get tough. Kyle’s birth family are incredibly important to him, and are a large part of his life, so it has been really important for me to build up good relationships with them too.
Kyle has now left foster care and has a place in the halls of residence during term time but continues to live with me during holidays and at weekends – this is his home.
I also foster other young people, some for short periods others have stayed longer – the rewards are not always obvious day to day, but the joy at changing lives and being able to give young people the security and care they need to achieve in life is immense.
I would urge anyone if they have a passion for caring for children and young people and feel they have the time in their lives to give to fostering, contact Warrington Fostering Service now. It may sound a little cliché – but it really does change lives.
Collette, 55 and Adele, 41 have been together for almost 18 years and have been fostering for 10 of those years:
“We started fostering in 2005 as friends and family foster carers. We had never even thought about fostering before that time. We saw how as a family we could offer the support, security and the normality of family life and how we could make a difference.
So now 10 years later we have had the greatest of pleasure looking after 15 great children all of which have a special place in our memories.
We have had children from 0 to 10 years old and who have stayed from 3 days to our most recent placement, a 10 year old boy who has been with us for 3 years now. We are now matched as long term foster carers for him which means he will be with us until he is an adult. He was 7 when he came to live with us and was a scared, angry and confused boy. With our and our families support, he is now a more confident, happy boy who is very much part of our family.
He has a great relationship with Adele’s son who also still lives at home and calls him his big brother. Adele’s son is very much part of fostering as he was only 10 years old when we started. He has been a big brother to all children placed with us and a role model for some, we are very proud of him and fostering has had a positive impact on him. Fostering is very much a family role, it’s not just us!
We feel that fostering is a great achievement of ours – to be able to give a child a loving, secure family home with the normality which every child deserves.
The hardest thing about fostering is when a child moves on. Obviously it’s upsetting but knowing you have given a child the loving, stability they have needed is rewarding. Most of the children we have looked after have chosen to keep in touch with us which is great as we still get to see them when possible from time to time.
We would advise anyone who is thinking about fostering to go for it. It’s the best and most rewarding thing we have done and still enjoy doing”.
Come and meet some of our foster carers at our next information sessions and recruitment events
For more information just click the link shown below and we’ll send you out a pack full to the brim with all the benefits of becoming a foster carer.