Are you thinking about becoming a foster carer? What is your motivation?
There are many reasons people decide they want to get involved in fostering, some of their own life experiences that drive them to this ambition, others have a lifelong dream to help children. Whatever your motivation all types of people make great foster carers.
Janet, an Alpha Plus foster carer, has been fostering since 2002 and cared for twenty-three children. She shares what motivated her to become a foster carer at the young age of 32 years old.
Janet’s mum had always fostered and she supported her in this, becoming a big sister figure to the teenagers her mum was caring for. Her mum was caring for three teenage girls and Janet spent considerable time with them, not realising the impact she was having on their lives as they became a big part of the family. She was the supportive figure these girls had longed for, proving a positive role model for them by listening to them and talking through any problems they might have. They would stay with her for weekends, indulge in pizza and film nights or go shopping and enjoy treats together. Janet had been her mum’s supporting carer for many years, without ever considering it as work, this was her family.
Later down the line, at 32 years old, Janet was married and working in marketing. She knew that she would eventually want to start a family and would want more flexibility at work to fit around this. Janet had considered her options when her husband, who was volunteering at a local youth club, was approached by someone who fostered with Alpha Plus. He was informed about what the role of a foster carer entailed, and that they should enquire. After much discussion, they decided they should find out more. Janet discovered that her family friend fostered with Alpha Plus, through a discussion with her mum. It felt like it was meant to be.
Quickly booking herself on to the next available information session, Janet came to meet Alpha Plus and found out all about the support we provide. Janet remembers that initial meeting, recalling that she felt unsure and was not convinced that fostering was the right role for her. She attended a second information session and having taken plenty of time to consider her abilities and willingness to perform the role, Janet decided to make an application. From her experience, she already knew that she wanted to care for teenagers and has been doing so ever since.
Since 2002, Janet and Graham have cared for 23 children. Some of these children have returned home to be looked after by family members, others have gone to live independently and some have moved to other carers.