Fostering At Christmas - Nicola's Story
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Nicola and her husband Stephen provide emergency and holiday care to children.
After developing a close bond with a 15-year-old girl who is currently in residential care, Nicola and her family invited her to stay for Christmas.
“She was staying in residential care out of the City, and I realised where she was staying the other children were going to be with family members over Christmas and she wasn’t going anywhere. I still wanted to be there for her, so we’ve arranged for her to come and spend Christmas with us”
“Christmas is about spending time with people you care about and we love each other’s company."
"It'll be a positive experience for everyone. It'll be a memorable experience! Despite everything they have been through, it’s amazing that by just welcoming and accepting children, how quickly you build that relationship and the impact you have on each other!"
Nicola has worked in schools for over 20 years, always loved being around children. During the pandemic Nicola and husband Stephen noticed there were more children going into care and less people to look after them.
With full time, demanding jobs, they decided to provide respite or holiday care for children at weekends and school holidays to fit around their work.
“We’re at a point in our lives where we can provide a safe, caring and fun home for children. Like anything you’re nervous at first, but as time goes on it becomes more natural and now we get really excited about them arriving”
During their first year as foster carers, Nicola and Stephen provided respite 15 times and some children have stayed up to six or seven times. Nicola often stays in touch with the children who come to stay.
“It’s so much better than I thought. I thought I would have to be on high alert and everything would have to be perfect, but I realised that children just want you to be natural and come to a welcoming home and be accepted”
“If you like children and your caring and your willing to put the energy and effort into it, it’s the most fulfilling thing you’ll ever do”
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