I have been a foster carer with Futures For Children for 13 years now.
2. What made you want to become a foster carer?
Fostering runs in my family, both my sister and my brother in law are all foster carers so it seemed like a natural step for me to do it as well.
When I first started fostering, I had young children and wanted to be able to raise them alongside my looked after children.
3. Please tell us about your current placement?
I currently have a ten-year-old boy who will have been with us two years in January.
He loves to play football for our local football team, and is also really good at Lego and enjoys spending time on his tablet.
4. What is it like to foster during Christmas?
We love Christmas, it’s always a big family do. My sister has her foster children in placement and so do I. For us, Christmases were really special so we like to make sure our children also experience what it’s like to have a magical Christmas.
We know Christmas can be difficult for some children so we always try to make it special for them.
5. Please tell us your favourite Christmas memory with a child or young person you've had in placement.
Every year we put a bell on our Christmas tree which rings when Santa is on his way. We’ve done this through every placement, no matter what placement we have, no matter what age they are, they always get so excited and they know it’s time to put out a carrot and a treat for Santa.
6. What piece of advice would you give to someone who is thinking about fostering?
Treat each child as an individual.
When you receive a file on a child or young person and you read it, don’t take it as face value. Don’t assume that they will be a certain way. Just because they’ve acted one way doesn’t mean they will act that way with you.
7. Do you experience any negativity surrounding Christmas?
The hardest part leading up to Christmas is the school activities. Schools will often ask the children to make Christmas cards for home. This can be difficult for children in placements who don’t have contact with their birth family. We contact the school and ask them if they could do a card home to someone special rather than mum or dad.
8. How do you make Christmas easier for the children in placement?
We always keep our placements busy, whether that’s a visit to Father Christmas or lots of arts and crafts.
Don’t steer away from talking about family, include them instead. Our placements make baubles for their birth family and even if they don’t have contact with their families, we will take them to the beach and they will let it go in the sea.
By including them it can really help to make Christmas easier for them and it will also give you time to bond with them.
But it’s important that you treat each child as they come and be understanding, not all of them will want to do every Christmas activity.
We're pleased that you would like to register your interest in fostering with Futures Group.
To give your application the best chance please ensure you meet the prerequisites below:
We're always looking for foster carers from different cultural, religious and racial backgrounds, single people, couples (whether married or living together, with or without children). Together we can make a difference to children's lives.