Madge and Gerry
Gerry and I became foster carer five and a half years ago
I’d always had an interest in children’s behaviour and worked with the most challenging ones at a local school.
I was spurred on by an incident that occurred at school where a looked after child I was working with in class was moved to another placement again. This led me to apply that night to foster.
When we had made the decision to become a foster parent, my family were very supportive as they had always known I was drawn to children who needed extra support and who were considered more challenging.
The day of my first placement I felt sick with nerves waiting for the arrival of the arrival of the young person I had agreed to looking after. I called a friend to discuss whether I had done the right thing. My friend helped me to think about it from the young person’s point of view and how they must be feeling as my home would be a strange place to them.
My first placement was meant to be a bridging gap for 12 weeks and has turned into a long-term placement. All other placements have been planned respite as well as emergency respite.
My children no longer live at home however, they have supported me through this process. At times they find it difficult when they see some of the effects on me but most of the time the support is there through different means like Facetime etc.
I’m not sure fostering was what I expected. I did want a challenge and have certainly had that and more but wouldn’t change it for anything. The best thing about fostering is seeing those small changes. Watching our young person grow and develop at their own pace with the dedication and hard work that goes into making those changes.