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Sandra's story

'I think that I’ve always been a caring type of person – taking after my own mother, and looking after various family members and even working in a care home for a while. But the idea about fostering came from a friend I knew when young.

'Her name was Veena and she was fostered. I remember her not being allowed out to play until she had finished all her chores. I decided that I would foster children when I got older and I’d be nicer than her carers and I wouldn’t make them do any chores. I have to laugh a little at that now, as I do give each of the children responsibilities suitable for them, though not too much.

'Without a doubt, the most amazing thing about fostering is that you are able to give each child a loving, caring home and watch them flourish and grow. Letting the children ‘go’ can be difficult and even heart-breaking, but the fact that they can go back to family or start a new life, means that you get the chance to see them be happy again and you feel like you’ve done something right. Unfortunately, sometimes, for different reasons, that doesn’t always happen – and that is really hard to see and experience.

My advice for others? I love what I do and truly believe that it was the best decision I’ve made. It is hard work but the children make it all worthwhile. And seeing them years later,  how well they are or how well they’ve done - there are no words for that.'