“We were 57 and 53 years old respectively, when we started fostering and I remember thinking back then we might be too old, turns out this wasn’t the case. Our family home felt very quiet, we had spare bedrooms and we wanted to change a life.”
I always knew that I felt an overwhelming empathy towards children who were experiencing challenges in their lives. Hazel was bought up in large family setting and also felt very passionate about making a difference and, we were determined to do it together.
One of my sons was very surprised at the idea of us fostering however, he was very supportive of our decision as was our other son. We talked about openly and reassured them that it was natural to feel some anxiety and feel protective.
We bought up our two sons, who have both gone on to join the Armed Forces, and we feel very proud of what they have achieved and realising we had done a great job with their upbringing we decided that we were ready to find out more about fostering.
Our first placement was an emergency placement which ended up lasting 2 years and our second placement also started as an emergency placement as is still with us today, although he will be joining the Army as a confident young man.
When we were first asked to take our first placement, we were nervous, ‘could we cope’ and what was going to happen’. We overcame our nervousness together and despite its challenges we learned a lot from the placement and feel we did all we could for the child. The most rewarding thing about fostering is when your told that others can see a difference in a child you have been looking after and when the children you look after make comments such as ‘I wish I’d be in care earlier’. It is, after all, about making a change and a positive impact on their lives.
In the most part, fostering and being a foster parent has been what we expected, the commitment is huge. It’s not like bringing up your own children, you have to be 101% sure that foster care is for you before taking on this responsibility.