“When Amy first came to us, she’d never speak. Now we can’t shut her up. She’s the life and soul of our family.”
“The best bit of the day is when we all sit round the telly together having a laugh.”
“I’ve got a piece of pottery on top of my telly. It might not look that great to some people. But to me it’s a masterpiece. It was made for me at school by the first child I fostered and I will treasure it forever.”
“My first child, a 12 year old girl, was due to arrive. I didn’t sleep the night before, worrying how we’d get on. When I heard the gate open, I went straight out and saw her standing there with her social worker. I just gave her a big smile and she smiled back. I think we were both as relieved as each other. It was as if something else kicked in then and I saw quite clearly that this child needed someone to care for her and protect her and I was the one to do it. She still visits even though she moved on some years ago and I really enjoy seeing her.”
"I must admit I like the house to be full again after my own children have grown up. It takes children to make a happy family home – to fill the house with life and interest. Our house is hectic some of the time. Or it’s hilarious. Never boring.”
“Just looking in on the girls first thing. Checking they’re okay. It’s the reason I get up in the morning. I can’t wait.”
“Since I started fostering, I have enjoyed the training courses you can go on. You get to meet really nice people who foster as well. The things I’ve learned mean I can do a lot more for the children I look after. It also makes fostering more fun and rewarding for me.”
“The choice is ours about whether or not we are ready to foster another child. Nobody minds if you say: ‘No, I need a break’. You can be as busy as you want to be. In fact, we love what we do, so we are usually happy to say ‘yes’.”
“I thought if I could just change one young person’s life and give them a better chance for the future then that would be worth it for me. But then I had to consider my son who lives with me. We talked it over between us and the fostering team involved him all the preparation and he was fine for me to go ahead. He has helped me out a lot with fostering and he’s got on well with all the children.”
“Is it hard to let a child go? The honest answer is: ‘yes - sometimes’. If you are a short-term foster carer, a child could be with you for a few months. But it can be longer – perhaps even a year or so while social workers are working with the child’s family to get them home or trying to find an adopter. The children become part of your family. You and your own children are bound to become very attached to these children – you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. And of course they become very attached to you. But you always have to think about what is going to be best for them for the future. It is part of your job to fill a child full of confidence and help them to move on. It’s hard sometimes, but you know that, as one child is waving goodbye, there is always another coming along who needs you just as much. Our family is an important stepping stone for several children not just one.”
"There were two brothers – they’re adopted now and doing great. When they were with me I think they never got over the idea that they’d actually get something to eat EVERYDAY!
"I loved watching them eat – you’ve never seen anything like it. Their teacher told me that they used to run and show her the lunch boxes I made up for them and tell her exactly what they’d had for dinner the night before and what they’d be having today. Ordinary things were amazing to them. And believe me we ‘re not talking posh cuisine at our house – just your regular chips and stuff."
"I thought the fostering training course would be a complete waste of time. But it was really good. I learned a lot and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. The Social Worker has to visit you at home and it’s all very friendly and relaxed.
Even so the questions we were asked were quite personal some of the time, but I felt they needed to be. The Fostering Team needs to know us before they can place other people's children with us.
"If my children had to go into foster care I would want to know that these people, whoever they were going to, were vetted."
Marcus and Anthea say: "A lad of 12 came to us. It was his birthday so we used some of his birthday allowance to get him a pair of in-line skates. We wrapped them up nice with a few other things that our kids and family members bought.
We got a cake in and a bit of pop. Thought we’d surprise him. He burst into tears. He’d never had a present in his whole life. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine everything else he’s missed out on?"
"My older son has enjoyed taking the younger ones under his wing and he's helped them with reading and things like that. He taught one boy who was a few years older than he was how to tell the time. He has really enjoyed the sense of achievement."
"At first, fostering did seem quite a lot of responsibility to take on, but you just weigh it up and think well, these kiddies need somewhere to stay and it's just the average person that they look for really isn't it? Everybody wants to help a child. That sounds great in theory, but there is a lot of work in it and a lot of understanding. I think if you can accept that you'd make a good foster family."
"The first children we had didn't even know how to put their turbans on. It's two years since they left, but they still keep coming back to say hello. It's really nice. It's something you teach them and something that makes you feel happy."
Anthea and Lloyd say: "We saw on TV that the council was asking for black people to come forward to foster. We decided that we had a home that we would like to offer. I think it's important for black children to be able to see black people and black families in a positive way."
"I’d advise anyone to take it that bit further and see what fostering has to offer. Until you start finding out more about it you will always be wondering whether or not fostering would have been such a wonderful experience for you as it has been for me."
"Everybody has a duty. Everybody has jobs to do including my own children as well as foster children. They all have to clean their own bedroom. We all do the housework - it's all done by sharing. If it's only me doing it all, I'm lumbered up in the kitchen all the time. So, no chance!"
Find out more by by ringing 0116 299 5800 or send us an online enquiry form.
Or you can download an application form here and post it back to us Fostering Application Form (PDF File)