Although I’ve been writing about fostering for a while now, I thought it was time to tell the story of how I became a foster carer and why.
My name is Lucy and I’ve been married to Ben for 20 years. He is not my first partner – I was married and divorced in the past. Ben and I have one daughter.
Currently we have 5 foster children with us; 3 are long-term and have been with us for years, and two (a brother and sister pair) arrived in May and their future is still to be decided.
By anyone’s standards, we have a house full. Add a big black Labrador called Luke, who somehow seems to take up more space than all the children put together, and it makes a noisy but (mostly) happy living space.
Luke might be big and sometimes smelly but he’s an integral part of our foster care team and we often refer to him as a silent healer.
Why turn to fostering?
When people find out we’re foster carers one of the first things they always ask is how and then why? We became carers in a slightly back to front way; it’s more accurate to say it chose us.
We had no intention of becoming foster carers; in fact, we had a busy life running our own business. We employed a lot of young people often through the school and college holidays and we saw many young people come through our doors mostly from happy, supportive and caring homes. Occasionally we saw teens whose home circumstances were not the happiest, and in some cases were very difficult.
It was through meeting and employing a teenager from a difficult home life that we ended up becoming foster carers.
A young teenage girl came to work for us doing one or two shifts at the weekend. She was independent and reliable. It seemed she was often responsible for looking after her two younger siblings. She was unusually diligent for her age, focused, and never missed a shift.
When you employ a stream of young people one of the things you get to hear on a regular basis is a long list of excuses of why some of them couldn’t work on a Friday or Saturday night. The other regular excuse is the sudden unidentifiable illness that has all the same symptoms as a hangover the next day.
Samantha wasn’t like this, and as such she got our attention and we trained her and increased her responsibility over the year. Then everything changed; she started coming in late, looking dishevelled and went from being one of our most reliable team members to the most unreliable.
Follow us on social media to see when part 2 is live! Lucy will be telling us about her first fostering placement and how and why she and Ben chose Nexus Fostering.