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From teacher to foster carer… Meet Donna & Steve

“Our fostering journey began with two little ones who needed lots of patience and nurturing. We had some very happy days and also some not so happy ones, but the children’s progress made every minute worthwhile. When you get that first smile, the tiny little hand touches your cheek and makes the connection with you and you hear one of them say to their teacher “my Donna”. From that moment on, there’s no other career like it.”

When did you decide to foster?

Steve and I have been together for 34 years and have two amazing sons of our own, now aged 32 and 30. During our first year of fostering, we carried out all of the required training and the (some would say dreaded) Form F that has to be completed as part of the application process. The day came when we had to sit in front of a panel for them to decide if we were good enough for the fostering journey. I’m glad to say we passed!

Did your previous career effect your decision to foster?

I was a SEN high level teaching assistant in my previous career, and I also worked in some behaviour schools. This led me to follow my dream of fostering, but my big problem to start with was getting Steve on board. We’d had nine years child free and were enjoying all the new opportunities coming our way during our free time. When we decided that it was the right time for us to become foster carers, it was both scary and also very exciting.

“Our fostering journey began with two little ones who needed lots of patience and nurturing. We had some very happy days and also some not so happy ones, but the children’s progress made every minute worthwhile. When you get that first smile, the tiny little hand touches your cheek and makes the connection with you and you hear one of them say to their teacher “my Donna”. From that moment on, there’s no other career like it.”

Our two little ones were returned to their family after nine months and yes, we were heartbroken. We took ourselves off on a well-earned holiday. It was then that I received an email telling us about two little boys aged 4 and 6 that needed to be in a family unit. The matching process started, and we were chosen by the local authority and by the boys.

Since that day, our lives have been one great family journey together.

We love the outdoors as a family and love exploring in our caravan. We watch our 11 and 13-year-old now; how they socialise and meet new friends and I have to pinch myself to remember how our 11-year-old didn’t talk at first. He amazes us with how far he’s come with his brother and we know how far they both will go because they are happy, wanted and very much loved in our family. They are so very happy and confident now in everything they do.

They have achieved so many football, cricket, dodgeball and school awards and amaze us every day.

Our boys call us mum and dad. Neither of them likes to think they are in foster care and that’s ok.  Our supervising social worker is very respectful of the boy’s views and their opinions.

If you are thinking about changing career and would like to know more about starting your own fostering journey, call one of our friendly team on 0800 012 4004.

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