Working with a local charity, Chernobyl Children’s Project and the support they provided to children after treatment, Tim and Michelle started to consider whether they could become foster carers and change the lives of more children and young people.
Tim works as a director for a finance company and I recently took redundancy from my post at HMRC, I have been with them for nearly 37 years.
We’d been working with a charity based in Endon, near Stoke-on-Trent, supporting children who were in remission from the disaster in Chernobyl. The charity is called the Chernobyl Children’s Project, and it offers young people the opportunity to visit the UK after treatment and stay with families such as ours for two weeks. Whilst visiting the UK it’s the role of volunteers like us to provide the children with new experiences.
Over the years, we’ve provided experiences to these children such as taking them to the beach, having fish and chips for the first time, and taking them todays out at theme parks. We found the time was valuable to the children who visited us and to our own family.
The support we offered to these young people made us question whether fostering was something we could do and as I was now going to have more time following my redundancy, we decided to make enquiries about fostering in our local area.
We started to search for local offices online and there was one agency in particular that was nearby, but straight away we liked the friendly-feel we got from Capstone when we spoke to them. They were just so accommodating and so we decided to proceed with them.
Rebecca and Alison then visited our family home in February 2019 and they discussed the local need for more fostering families, as well as the role of foster carers, the assessment process and, the training and support Capstone Foster Care could offer us.
Whilst we had not experienced many challenges with our own children, we felt that our experience of caring for other children through the Chernobyl Children’s Project had given us some insight into caring for people from different circumstances and backgrounds. We felt optimisticand confidentthat this was something we wanted to do.
We felt open to working with professionals, attending training, building our knowledge of the impact of trauma and neglect and were strongly supported in that decision by our own daughters, who themselves took an interest in supporting others.
In July, Tim and I attended panel at the Birmingham office where we were recommended to be approved as foster carers. Tendays later, our approval was agreed, and we became registered as foster carers.
We said goodbye to our last placement with the Chernobyl Children’s Project on 17thAugust and by the 19thAugust, we had our first placement arrive with us; two siblings.
We have found having the children with us very rewarding. We’ve been provided with background information, support and encouragement from both professionals and family members. There’s been two things that have helped us massively in our journey so far, a sense of humour and lots of coffee!
We look forward to the rest of our fostering journey with Capstone and working towards building brighter futures for the children that are in our care and welcomed into our family.
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