Our foster carer stories
Suzie and Mark's story
Suzie and Mark became foster carers in May 2011 and so far have had 17 children placed with them, ranging from babies to teenagers, and respite to long-term. When they first became foster carers, they fostered with an Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) but now foster with the Council.
Suzie said: “The main reason that we moved from the IFA was due to the long gaps between placements, which meant there were often times where we didn’t have a child with us. And when we did have a placement, they often weren’t very well-matched, but with the Council, they’ve all be pretty well-matched so far, and when it hasn’t been, it’s been dealt with really well.”
“I think it’s also important to know that you don’t have to take a placement. The matching processes with the Council are really clear so you have an idea of what the child will be like so there aren’t any big surprises because the team are clear and open with you.”
Being a foster carer is now Suzie’s full-time job: “I can’t see myself going back to work because I’d be sat there wishing I was at home with the foster children. It’s become a passion for me. But every time I’ve needed help or respite, I’ve been able to have it.
“I can still have time with just my partner or with our little boy as well, and I’ve realised that, although the foster children are part of our family, it’s okay to want that time with just them too.”
The support from other foster carers is also something which they really value.
“We all know each other and support each other; we’re like a big family really.”
“A lot of people would listen to some stories and not do it, but we have other stories with really nice memories. It’s easy to focus on the negatives but there are lots of positive.
“I’ll be honest, being a foster carer is hard, and it does take over your life. But if you’ve got an extra bedroom and time to give to a child, then go for it. It really does make a difference to these children.”
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