We started fostering 10 years ago. We first became interested after seeing a local advert and decided that we had room in our house and lives to help vulnerable children desperate for a good start in life, support, routine, love and the security we knew that we could offer. We contacted Cheshire East's fostering team and attended their information sessions. We were able to talk to foster carers and gain the information we needed to be able to make an informed decision. The assessment process was straightforward, and we have never looked back!
The most rewarding part of being a foster carer for Cheshire East Council is seeing the children change – from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave, we can see the difference we have made. We see them develop, thrive, learn, grow, build confidence, form relationships, face and overcome challenges. They become part of our family and adapt to us being an extended part of theirs – these rewards, for us, mean everything.
The biggest challenge facing a foster carer – is not knowing what the challenges are going to be. Each child is different and what works for one will not always work for another. Routine and getting to know the child is paramount, we take each day as it comes and face each day in a new light. We have fantastic support from children's services, education and health; we work as a whole and together we are able to work towards obtaining what is in the best interests of the child. We are never alone in our journey.
For anyone thinking of fostering; speak to the team at Cheshire East. Go to their information events, speak to their other foster carers and get a feel of what to expect and what is required. Help and support is on tap as well as a wealth of knowledge from other foster carers who can help and guide you through tough spots - we all get a little daunted sometimes! But don't let that stop you, 10 years and a lot of children who have all achieved so much, are all testament to how much YOU could help change a child's life.
The role of fostering has brought us so much joy – we didn't realise how satisfying, challenging and meaningful it could be! We never thought we could help so many children achieve great things, just by offering the basic things in life. How safety, stability, routine, support and love could mean so much to, and change a person's life. It's an amazing thing to offer.
Daryl and Alan.
If you want to find out more about becoming a Foster Carer with Cheshire East, visit togetherforfostering.com now.