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why I foster with my local authority

Grahame’s story

Grahame and Wendy fostering for their local authority and two children having fun together outdoors

“why I foster with my local authority”?

My Name is Grahame and wife’s name is Wendy, we have been Fostering for the local authority for the last 8 years and have to say it has been an amazing journey with a mixture of fun, sadness but mainly an overwhelming sense of pride and achievement.

“Why do you foster?” is the most frequent question that we are asked and I can honestly say there are so many positive reasons that motivate us to look after the children and carry on doing it with a passion.

We had a 15-year-old girl placed with us and over the first couple of days we did a couple of basic day trips – shopping and going to the beach with us. I turned to her on the third day and simply asked how she was doing and she replied with a tear in her eye saying “This is happiness isn’t it? I knew about it but never experienced it”

In an attempt to explain the basic reasons why we foster it is quite simply the ability to hugely improve a child’s life for the better forever. The most important tool is offering a safe, loving and secure base to enable the children to naturally explore the world around them whilst being guided and nurtured by us the carers.

“what made you decide”?

Our own children had all grown up and left our home but we felt we had so much to offer other less fortunate children, so we decided to do something about it and contacted the local authority to discuss fostering with them.

I have to say, from the point of contacting the fostering team, through to the information session and training process that took place in order to prepare us for fostering was all exceptionally supportive, professional and friendly.

“what are the rewards?”

For us by far the emotional reward and feeling of achievement of seeing the children develop a normal life in a normal environment is quite simply priceless. In the main, children come in to the care system from all background and ages from new born to teens, generally from varying levels of neglect, emotional and sometimes physical harm.

“what support is there?”

The support we get from the local authority is exceptional, all foster carers are assigned a link social worker who fully supports and caters for all your needs as carers. I have to say we are lucky to have one of the best link workers.     

“is it difficult?”

Like every job there are times when it can be difficult especially at the start of the placement. That very quickly passes and settles down. From that point on from experience you rapidly see the improvements taking place for the better in the child.

It helps when you have your immediate and extended family on board with you when fostering as it affects their lives as much as yours.

 If I could offer advice, it would be to be consistent. Never judge the child’s family, always support and promote parental and sibling contact. Be honest at all times, reward and recognise achievements however small.

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