As a single carer, Nana Cath, a retired nurse, fosters a group of 3 siblings. Looking back, she wishes she had started her fostering journey sooner.
I had always wanted to foster, and I wish I had taken the plunge years ago rather than waiting until I retired.
My friend has fostered for over thirty years with the local authority and always said I should become a foster carer as I have a really calming influence. I always helped my friend during her time as a foster carer and when the children she looked after seemed stressed or suffering from anxiety, I would take the children on a little walk around her garden to calm them down. I’m now known as ‘Nana Cath’ to everyone and even the three siblings staying with me refer to me as Nana Cath.
All my family were very supportive of me becoming a foster parent, my daughter and sister now regularly come on holiday with us all along with my sister’s own grandchildren. My mum who’s in her 90s and very active always wants to come with me to pick the children up from school and my own daughter loves to come around and spend time with the children too.
When Capstone called me regarding the siblings I look after now and discussed whether I would consider having them stay, I agreed. They felt the children would be a suitable match with my background and character.
I remember feeling very excited when I heard the children would be coming to stay with me. My daughter couldn’t wait to meet them either so was here when they were placed. The children had unfortunately come straight from home, so everything was a little daunting for them all.
When the children finally arrived, we showed them around the house to settle them in and let them all have a look around at their own bedrooms. I can just remember S, J and T sat on the couch telling me about themselves and what they liked and didn’t like. I clearly remember them saying they didn’t like chips and not to give them chips as it turns out this is what they were mainly fed whilst growing up. Now they love their food especially proper home cooked food. Two of the siblings began to rap battle with each other on the night they first came, and it was fantastic to see they felt comfortable enough to show me how much they loved singing. This will never leave my memories.
I really want to make sure the children experience everything they have not had chance to do while growing up. J the oldest of the siblings told me he had never been on holiday when he first came, so I made sure that first summer we all went on holiday to Spain, the children absolutely had a ball; my daughter came with us as well. I want the children to see the world and experience all different types of travel they have not been able to see. So far, they have been on a plane, a boat, a train and next we are going on a ferry to Ireland. We have loads of activities planned for the summer from trips to Flamingo Land for their birthdays, holiday to Greece and much more.
The children are all now involved in activity groups such as cadets, swimming and scouts. J who is nearly 13 is thriving in cadets, originally, he was lacking in confidence and I even had to go with him to his first session. Now 8 months later he races in to see his friends and they all high five each other when they leave. We all love to go and watch him complete his parade at the end of a cadet’s session and he finally has his uniform for.