We treat all applicants for fostering equally. To find out more call us on 0800 917 0925
Anthony (33) and his partner James (40) are an unmarried gay couple living in Hertfordshire who have been fostering for 4 years.
We've always wanted to have our own children, but at the same time help children who may be in a difficult position.
The fostering recruitment team quickly came to visit us and made us feel very welcome. During the following 6 – 8 months we attended a Skills to Foster course and completed our assessment. The assessment was a deep look into our past, everything you should expect to be doing fostering really.
A couple of weeks after being approved, we got a phone call from the Central Placements Team, needing to place 2 brothers with us. Within 3 hours they arrived! These boys had been assessed and deemed that they should be looked after by the authority. The boys stayed with us for 18 months, and were a complete pleasure. We taught them many skills, from eating with a knife and fork correctly, to reading and writing.
Children in care are all different. Sometimes the children will need specialist services, such as CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) or extra help at school. Working as a team with our social worker and the child's social worker, we can easily access these services for the child.
We now have a child who will be staying with us long term. He will always be fostered rather than adopted due to his circumstances. However, this does mean that the team of social workers and specialists are on hand if we ever need them.
Most of the children we have looked after we've stayed in contact with, so we'll see them at important events and send Christmas and birthday cards.
When we think back just how far the children we have looked after have progressed, it's truly an amazing feeling. It’s like nothing you can experience elsewhere.
My wife and I became specialist foster carers around 5 years ago, and we haven't looked back since. We're registered to foster teenagers who have experienced a difficult start in life and need the stability and guidance in a loving environment.
My wife and I became specialist foster carers around 5 years ago, and we haven't looked back since. We're registered to foster vulnerable young people who have experienced significant trauma from abuse, neglect and separation.
My wife is a Trading Standards Officer and I still work full time as a specialist foster carer. We’ve had our own family and believe us that was tough going, however we have learnt so much about ourselves since we started looking after teenagers.
One of the reasons we wanted to get into fostering was that our youngest son got into lots of trouble at school, he was dyslexic and had behavioural problems. Our son had been brought up with good morals and knew when he was doing wrong, despite his difficult teenage years.
After signing up as potential foster carers we attended the Skills to Foster course, and halfway through the assessment we had to take a break because our son was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma and underwent surgery. Following his recovery we re-visited becoming foster carers.
The application process helped us look at ourselves and why we wanted to do this. Yes, there are lots of questions but they're all necessary, you're going to be looking after some very vulnerable teenagers, so they needed to know that we could deal with the most complex situations.
Our foster child has been with us since 2013, he came for a short time and is still here to this day. He is now 17 and working. We have had to be patient and tolerant in order to gain trust and build a relationship. Imagine all of the emotions, thoughts and feeling of being a teenager and then adding in neglect and abuse, it explains why they are so anxious and scared of the world.
Our families are very supportive, but it goes beyond that. We have our network of friends, the community and most importantly our social worker and wider fostering team, who have supported us. Everyone comes together to make sure we do the best for our foster child and it really is the best feeling when we see those little changes.
We really believe in fostering and all of the amazing work that so many people do. Our only regret is that we didn't do this years ago.
Read more about specialist fostering.