Well, where to start?
I have always cared for children in some form or another, I studied child protection in my role as a Paediatric Nurse and I think that really reaffirmed what I already knew; that I love to care for those young people that need it but also that I think I could make a real life-changing difference to a child.
We had an extension built and a spare bedroom was available, we wanted to give a child a place in our home and give them a good childhood. We wanted them to feel loved and supported by people that cared about them. So we did just that.
I think fostering impacts on the whole family and my advice would be to consider how fostering would affect those closest to you before you commit to applying.
Having those initial discussions, before we started the fostering journey with Futures For Children, really confirmed to us that we were ready to start the process and were strong enough to cope with any difficulties that might have come up. Do expect lots of visits and meetings, often in your own home.
The support you have access to is second to none. Do take advantage of the Support Groups that Futures For Children supply and speak to other carers!
We had a chance to meet up with other carers via Futures’ before we applied and it was fantastic.
I think one of the most rewarding aspects of fostering is having the foster children, past and present, write nice words to you in birthday or Christmas cards and also when I hear them tell others how they appreciate all I've done for them and how I've always supported them through everything - good or bad.