Foster Carer Nicky wants to make a difference through storytelling
My girlfriend and I began our fostering journey 10 years ago but have been fostering with Capstone Foster Care for the last 7 years. My parents fostered so we always had children around the house when I was growing up and it was always something, I wanted to do myself. My girlfriend shared the same ambition and so we decided to become foster parents.
When explaining to our foster children about moving from fostering to adoption, we found it difficult to explain to them what was going to happen. The books we did find were about animals, there was nothing that they could relate to. This gave me the idea to write my own books for foster children that would help them understand what was going to happen through short sentences and illustrations.
Initially I wanted to use them to help children in our care but then thought it could also help other foster parents and the children in their care, so I decided to self-publish them on Amazon. The feedback I have received has been fantastic.
I get all of my inspiration from my foster children. When I don’t have a placement, I become blank but it’s when we have children with us, I will develop ideas based on what they are learning or growing through to try and make their experience better. I know my books have helped the children we have looked after and hopefully they will help many more.
My first book was called “My Forever Family”, and it’s about a young boy called Oliver as he goes through the ups and downs of the ‘fostering to adoption’ process. The book is simple and easy to understand with illustrations to help children of different ages. Being a foster carer myself, I struggled to find a simple way to explain the process to the young foster children, especially toddlers and young children that were moving on to ‘forever families’.
Then I came up with the idea for this book, a story of the basic process. It has helped me and my foster children and hopefully it will help many others.
My second book (He wants to be a Princess) is all about equality, inclusion and acceptance which was inspired by another foster child who was really interested in princess cartoons and toys – he loved them! We had no issues with this at all and my girlfriend even went out to buy him his own princess dress that he could wear around the house. That’s when I thought, there is a book here… Then, the very next day he changed his mind and wanted to be a dinosaur!
The story is told through rhyme with an ideal introduction to the ever-changing and more acceptable world we live in today. Teaching children that they can be whoever they want to be even if it doesn’t conform to other people’s views. Whether that’s being LGBTQ+ or just their fashion, career choice or even their choice of friends.
Anything is possible and they should be free to choose how they live their lives. What a boring place the world would be if we were all the same.
My latest book is called ‘Cedric’s Plan to Save the World’ which is all about educating children (and adults) about the environmental issues. A seagull called Cedric, travels around the world and sees the devastation caused by man, forest fires, global warming and littering – the world is a mess. He then meets little Susie who gives him the inspiration for his plan to save the world, but he is going to need the help of the readers (the children). Working together, Cedric knows that we can make the world a better place. It’s a delightful rhyming picture book that teaches and inspires children about the environment and encourages them to play their part.
This book was actually inspired by the little one we have in placement now who is currently learning about the environment in school and I felt this was an idea opportunity to help educate children in a fun and engaging way.
I just want to help people (children and adults) by educating them through storytelling. I really enjoy it and find it very therapeutic. I am always thinking of new stories and I am currently working on a new book which will be released in due course.
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I really appreciate all of the support and if you would like to order any of the stories discussed, they are available on Amazon, here: www.bit.ly/nbrookes