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I became a foster carer because I wanted to work and make a difference, fostering has allowed me to do both but with the advantage of being at home for my own children. Fostering has brought us closer together as a family as well has making my own children mature and grow into caring teenagers who have gained a good understanding of the possible needs of others and the importance of tolerance.

They have also gained valid life experiences that I don’t think they would have been able to gain in any other way.

Although it has been challenging at times we’re so pleased that we decided to foster and as a family we have found it so rewarding.

I was approved to foster children and young people aged 0-18 years old and can remember when we were first accepted as foster carers, we were so excited and at the same time scared not knowing if we would have a boy a girl or what age would be coming to stay with us.

We got a call the day we were approved asking if we could look after sibling girls, we said yes straight away. They were the first foster children who moved into our home and four and a half years later, they’re still with us.

"Fostering has been both difficult at times and rewarding, if I had a chance to do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing."

The older child has moved on but still visits, knowing that we have given them a meaningful relationship and that they do want to visit once they have left is a wonderful feeling.

Things haven’t always been easy, however, when we have needed it the support has been available from our supervising social worker, the children’s social worker and one of the support agencies AMASS {Adolescent Multi Agency Support Service} who works with children and young people displaying extreme challenging behaviour as well as the foster carer and will give the foster carers strategies of how to support the child/young person with the behaviour they’re displaying and enabling the carer to understand the behaviour, which has helped me and my family to work with one of the children placed with us.

Fostering has been both difficult at times and rewarding, if I had a chance to do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing.