“Fostering is the best thing I’ve ever done”
We caught up with one of our retiring foster carers to find out what fostering has meant to her and why she thinks everyone who is thinking about fostering should give it a go.
Sandra had always known she liked the idea of fostering but it wasn’t until she met a foster carer at a wedding in 2002 that she decided to go for it. “I’d worked in all kinds of things. I’d worked in care homes, in engineering, you name it, I did it!
“I’d always been interested in fostering. It wasn’t until I was in my 50s that I spoke to my husband and my family about it. At first, I wasn’t sure how my children would feel. Although they were already grown up, I helped with a lot of their childcare and I knew that fostering would mean that my grandkids had to share me with my foster children. They were very supportive though, my kids and grandkids said I’d be a great foster carer and gave me the confidence to go for it.
“If you’re ready to commit to fostering then you have the potential to be an amazing foster carer.”
“I phoned Birmingham Children’s Trust to find out more and a few months later I had my first placement! It was nerve wracking, but I felt well prepared and my social worker was by my side.
“I always fostered children aged 0-5, although sometimes they would stay with me until they were about 7. I always cared for three children at a time which was wonderful. It was so special for me to see them grow together, especially when they were brothers and sisters.
Keeping brothers and sisters together
“I often fostered two or three brothers and sisters together. Sometimes it was hard for the eldest sibling to learn that I could take care of them all now because they were so used to protecting the younger children. It would take them a while to trust me, but they would always come around. I focused on making them feel safe and secure and then helped them to build up their confidence. Seeing children come out of their shell was the best part of fostering.
“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I still can’t believe that I got paid to do it!”
“It’s the small things that meant the most. Like watching them play in the garden whilst making tea, or how excited they are when they get to lick the spoon covered in chocolate after baking together!
More than a job
“I don’t like to call fostering a job because it’s so much more than that. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I still can’t believe that I got paid to do it!
“It can be hard too, but the Trust always supported me when I needed it. They taught me how to manage challenging behaviour and my social worker was always on hand if I needed her.
“My message to everyone thinking about fostering is to go for it, give it a go! Make that enquiry because you have nothing to lose.
“If you’re ready to commit to fostering then you have the potential to be an amazing foster carer. It could be the best thing you ever do."
Get in touch
Would you like to find out more about fostering? Our friendly team are here to answer your questions.
Telephone us: 0121 303 7575
Monday to Wednesday: 8:45am to 5:15pm
Thursday: 8:45am to 8:00pm
Friday: 8:45am to 4:15pm
Email us: AFRecruit@birminghamchildrenstrust.co.uk