Reflecting on 50 years of fostering!

Foster carer Sue holding flowers in celebration of her 50th year of fostering over 415 babies and children

Sue has fostered with Liverpool for 50 years and over that time she has cared for 415 children!  

We were honoured to chat with Sue about some of her fostering experiences to find out how she has remained to passionate and committed to fostering for such a long time!

What brought you to fostering?

"It was something I always wanted to do.  I used to watch my mum, as she was a foster carer, and I always got on with the teenagers.  I worked in Alder Hey for quite a while when I was seventeen and always loved children, so when I was twenty three, my husband George and I became foster carers.  We were fostering for ten years before we had our own children and now have four boys, one of whom we adopted and he's twenty one now!" 

What was it like when you first started fostering?

"Two little girls arrived for our first Christmas as foster carers.  They were with us long-term until they became adults and got married.  Our next arrival was also on Christmas Eve and it was four children this time.  Twins, a twelve-year-old and an eighteen-month-old! We got through Christmas together and from then on we've always looked after babies.

Including the baby that is due to arrive this afternoon, it’ll be 416 children in total!"

I’ve fostered for 50 years, and it’s been my life!  I’ve had 415 children in my care, and I’ve loved every one of them.


Why is fostering so important to you? 

"I like to give them a good start and I’m happy when they go on for adoption or back to family.  I've given them stability and quietness so they are able to carry on my routines when they move on.  Over the years I’ve developed a good routine and most of the time the babies are sleeping through by six weeks.

My main concern is always the children.  I’m easy going, in for a laugh, and I don’t judge anybody.  I’ve always got on with the children’s family - maybe I make them feel comfortable."  

What are the rewards and challenges?

"One baby who was withdrawing from drugs had a very difficult start.  She’s now fifteen months old and can put two words together!  She’s happy and in a routine because of me – that’s where I get my rewards.

I used to cry when they move on, I do even now, but I still have a lot do with the children. At Christmas this house is full of flowers and tins of sweets.  On my birthday every year, I get a visit from one of the children and we have a photo together.  I get sent videos and photos, and still keep in touch with a lot.

My sons keep asking me "when are you going to retire Mum?", but I really enjoy it, and the babies keep me going.  My sons have always accepted the children and been involved.  While the children are here they are like part of the family, coming to family parties and days out."

Foster carer Sue holding flowers in celebration of her 50th year of fostering over 415 babies and children

Anyone coming into fostering should know it’s not easy, but it’s very rewarding.  It’s so beautiful to see them grow up to well behaved children. I have always given them a good start in life and that’s my reward in life.