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Meet Diane and Nick

We had thought about fostering for many years before we finally took the step, but it never seemed to feel like quite the right time. I have a traveller background and come from a big family, so I’ve been surrounded by lots of children for my whole life. I’ve always thought that I’d love to support a child in foster care and to help them to be able to flourish.

We had thought about fostering for many years before we finally took the step, but it never seemed to feel like quite the right time. I have a traveller background and come from a big family, so I’ve been surrounded by lots of children for my whole life. I’ve always thought that I’d love to support a child in foster care and to help them to be able to flourish.

One of Nick’s friends recommended Capstone Foster Care to us and when we looked at the website, everything felt right. You just know in your heart when something feels right and so we decided to go for it.

We both found the assessment process and the training amazing and so insightful. I’ve worked with children a lot over the years, as a nanny, in childcare and bringing up my own children of course, but it made me look at everything from a child’s perspective in a way that I never had before. It made me question “WHY” are they doing that? and made me realise that there is always a trigger to any behaviour. I actually thought how beneficial the training would be to all parents, not just foster carers.

Being a foster carer is 24/7 and you find yourself questioning everything that you do all the time because you want to do everything right for the children. You have to overcome barriers every day. Some days things settle down and you feel like you’re making progress, then you might have a bad day and feel like you’ve taken 10 steps backwards

We have never once regretted our decision. Being foster carers isn’t easy, but the good far outweighs the bad and nothing compares to it.

I’m not someone who normally gets particularly nervous, but on our way for our first meeting with the brothers we care for now, I was so nervous that I felt sick. It was such a huge thing for our family and there were lots of questions running through my head like “will they like us?”

I can honestly say though that the moment we met them, we fell in love. The little one was quite shy, but the eldest came straight over and wrapped himself around our legs. We bonded straight away and haven’t looked back.

It’s the little things that you notice about how far they’ve come which are such huge steps for them. Our older foster child had an obsession with hoovering when he first came due to his past. He now doesn’t feel the need to hoover every day and in fact his room is now messy like most children’s!

Our youngest foster child didn’t speak to begin with and now can confidently put sentences together. It’s so rewarding seeing them develop over time and they now treat our home like their home which we love.

Fostering, to begin with, is like a whirlwind. The children are settling in, you’re constantly analysing everything you do, you have appointments, training, social worker visits. It can feel full on, but then you do find your routine and things start to settle down. If you have a bad day, well tomorrow’s a new one. One rule in our household is that no one goes to bed feeling upset.

We have two birth children, who we had a long discussion about fostering with before we made our final decision as they are always our priority. When we first had the boys, our daughter was a little distant, but after showing her that she still has our time, she has realised that she is still just as important and valued as before and so has really settled with them. We’ve never expected or asked our children to put themselves out for the boys, but over time they have naturally spent more and more time with them and started helping out. We think it’s helped hugely that this is out of choice rather than us expecting them to. Our youngest child has a lovely bond with our youngest foster child and our eldest (who is not normally bothered with children at all) has taken really well to our older foster child. I think he likes his cheekiness, and they have some good banter together. It’s so lovely to see them all getting on so well and we often do things as a family.

To anyone thinking of becoming a foster carer…

…I would say that it’s incredibly hard and rewarding at the same time and that the good definitely outweighs the bad.

I wouldn’t like to think of anyone deciding to become a foster carer for money, because it changes your life so completely. If you imagine bringing a new baby home from the hospital; you’ve read the books, but you’re still learning along the way, and you want to do absolutely everything right. It’s a very similar analogy! Your motivation must be for helping the children, then you will naturally want to do your best and that’s exactly what foster children need.

It can be frustrating, so you do need an open mind, patience, commitment and staying power. You will often find yourself fighting for different things for the foster children in your care and so persistence is also a great attribute, as is professionalism when dealing with others.

Contact with family, when appropriate, is incredibly important for foster children and this is something that you must be prepared for too as a foster carer.

you may also be interested in

Events

8th November, 2021

The Fundamentals of Foster Care webinar sessions: Everything you need to know about fostering children

Events

3rd November, 2021

Facebook Live: Questions and Answers with our foster carer, Andy!

Events

19th October, 2021

The Job Fair - Bridgewater Hall, Manchester - Come and meet us 

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