My late husband and I often thought about fostering but as we all know, things happen in life, and we simply never got round to it.
We struggled for a long time to have children of our own and tried IVF treatment with no luck. The years went by and then in 2012 my husband was made redundant from his job. One day we were sitting in a Morrisons supermarket and on the back of the till receipt was an advert for Diverse Care fostering agency. So when we got home we gave them a call. Due to our ages we did not know if we would be allowed to foster, but we were asked to attend an introductory meeting to talk about becoming Foster Parents and told that our ages were not a problem. After the first meeting with a very nice man called Keith and a lady called Sally we knew that it was time for us to become Foster Parents.
And so we started our training. If you really do want to be a Foster Parent you have to do lots of training and work hard, but it is all worth it in the end. We had an assessor assigned to us and she visited our house around six times. She talked to us about our lives, our families, and the things we like to do. This process can be hard because you revisit things in your life that can be painful to remember, but we kept thinking about the children in care and some of the bad things they may have been through in their lives. We hoped that our own life experiences could help others.
We took part in the four day ‘Skills to Foster’ course which was excellent. Sally, Jim and everyone involved in the training made it really fun and informative. And you are not on your own - there are others there all in the same boat as you.
The staff at Diverse care are one big loving family. They help and support you, and provide ongoing training after you are approved as a Foster Parent.
When my husband passed away suddenly in February 2014 the love and support I received not just from Diverse care but from fellow Foster Parents in the Kent area was amazing. I had about six months out of fostering but carried on with my training during this time. I have been back to panel and I am now approved as a one person Foster Parent - So you see you do not need to be a couple to foster. There is no discrimination about who makes a good Foster Parent, as long as you can provide a loving and safe place for children and young people.
So what I would say to anyone with a spare room is why not have a think about giving a young person the chance to have a better life. These young people are the adults of tomorrow and we need to give them has much love and support as possible. I am not saying it is an easy job because it’s not, but I thank you for reading this, and if it encourages one person to become a Foster Parent it has done it's job.
Image credit: Magdeleine
Last modified on Wednesday, 31 December 2014 09:07