Fostering is a life changing decision for many people.. however it can be a truly rewarding experience. Our Foster Carers, Martin and Anne Wilkinson, tell us about why they took the leap into to fostering for us….
“For a long time we talked about Fostering. We have one son and each evening after his bed time story we would tuck a happy little boy up in bed, he knew he was loved, his tummy full and most of all he knew he was safe. We knew that life isn’t like that for many children and we would see the adverts on the TV depicting children with sad faces and squalid surroundings suffering at the hands of those who should have been giving the love and protection that all children deserve.
We knew that we could provide a safe and caring environment but felt that in order to do our best for the children entrusted to us, we would need the expertise of professionals who could help us to understand and deal with the complex needs of these children, and who would be there to offer training and support to us. We contacted an independent fostering agency “The Children’s Family Trust” (CFT) who visited us in our home and talked frankly about the reality of being foster carers. They explained the challenges and also the rewards of being a foster family.
We became foster carers five years ago, and the reality of everyday life for many of the children in our care shocked us. We soon realised the value of the training and support which enabled us to help and change the lives of the children in our care. While some carers take children for life we made the decision to become short term foster carers which means the children can be with us from a few weeks to 18 months. We have so far looked after over 20 children ranging from a young vulnerable mother and her new born baby to different sibling groups of all ages. The reasons for them being in care are varied as are their experiences and individual needs, but just imagine how it must feel to one day find yourself taken from everything familiar in your life and being placed in the care of strangers. The early days are very difficult for many children until they start to trust us and feel safe with us. This is where the training and support from our agency becomes invaluable and understanding why a child may be presenting in a particular way is the key to giving the appropriate help, also knowing that if needed 24 hours a day we can speak to a member of our support team who will give support and advice and if we required would attend in person.
Being a foster carer is not always easy but the rewards are great as we see these children relax into a home life where they don’t have to worry anymore and can concentrate on being a child. They start to do better at school and learn that they are important and wanted.
Martin and Anne Wilkinson.
If you would like to know more about fostering for us, please contact us through our website or call 0300 111 1945.