"Our first year as foster carers"

Foster carer Vicky and her pet dog

Vicky and Gary had known that wanted to foster for 10 years, and that when they did it would be about finding the right time.

With 4 grown up children of their own, they felt they had the space in their home and lives, to give a stable, family environment to children who really need it.

Vicky said “It sounds clichéd but we recognised how lucky our own children have been, and we wanted to see how a loving family environment, could have a positive effect on children who have had a much more difficult start”

Becoming a foster family is an adjustment for everyone.  As nervous as you are about being foster carers, the children are probably ten times more nervous than you, without the skills to communicate how they are feeling

Vicky, Foster Carer

Following Vicky and Gary’s approval as foster carers, they provided respite carer to around 9 children over the summer months, which really helped them confirm fostering was for them (Vicky gave up her job to focus on full time fostering).

In December 2019, Vicky and Gary met two siblings, and after considered introductions and matching, they have now settled as members of the family home.

By taking things slowly and adding a few boundaries and structure, Vicky and Gary have already noticed how everyone has relaxed. “Benji our dog has helped too! A pet is a great icebreaker. Walking Benji is a great way to get the kids out. They tend to open up more, when we are not talking face to face. Playing with Benji is a great way to relax”

We asked Vicky if she and Gary are happy with their decision to foster, and Vicky said “During our first year of fostering, we've looked after 13 children and every one of them have had the highs, the lows, the laughs and the giggles. It’s not something that we’re ever sorry we have done"

My advice to a new foster carer would be; don’t put too much pressure on yourself. No one gets everything right, and asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness – it’s actually seen as a strength

Vicky, Foster Carer

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