When did you become interested in fostering?
I first became interested in fostering after the birth of my second child. I was fortunate to have a boy and a girl. I loved them immediately with all my heart and appreciated that I was very lucky but they were too.
The feeling overwhelmed me that some children were not so lucky.
I attempted to foster when I was 25 Years old but had neither the room nor the financial stability at that time to support vulnerable young people.
As older foster carers, what kind of challenges if any, did you think you would face?
When I was 50 my daughter got married and we had an empty nest. Now was my time to offer a home to children who were unable to live with their birth parents, I felt I had the experience, the time and the love to give.
We applied to foster and we were reassured that there was no upper limit. We were welcomed as possible valuable members of the team. We also had grandchildren who welcomed foster children into our home.
How did National Fostering Group put your mind at ease about those challenges?
All children can be challenging but children with attachment issues can be particularly challenging. We were given plenty of training opportunities to address the issues that we might experience. We had support from our birth children and often accompanied them on outings with our grandchildren.
What has been your most memorable part of fostering?
We fostered a young man when he was 7 years old and he still lives with us. He has Autism and ADHD, he still lives with us. We are very proud of him, he is a wonderful human being. He has shown us so much love. He said. “You are not my mum and dad but you are the only parents I’ve ever had”.
What kind of support have you been given from National Fostering Group on your fostering journey?
We have been supported 100 percent by the agency over the last 17 years. We’ve always had a good relationship with our manager and SSW. They are there not only for fostering but all life events. There is 24 hour support. The training is second to none.
What tips would you give to someone who is over 50 and thinking of fostering?
We have completed over 120 training courses to help us understand and manage young people.
If you are thinking of fostering and are over 50, go for it, it will change your life for the better and more importantly, the lives of beautiful children who deserve a chance of a normal happy life, living with people who have the time, love and experience for them to reach their true potential in a safe and loving environment.
If you’re thinking about becoming a foster carer, get in touch with us today.