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why I foster – part one

Our Countryside Carer shares the first part of her story as to why she started fostering, and the difference she wanted to make for our young people...

21 January 2022

When I was asked to write about why I foster and how it has impacted my life positively I realised that why I got into fostering and why I am still a foster carer really have two different stories; so I thought I’d start at the beginning. 

I’d always wanted to be a teacher, ever since I was a young teenager. I loved spending time helping coach sports teams and would also help younger children with homework etc at school (I went to a boarding school). I didn’t hesitate when applying for university because I knew, without a doubt, that I wanted to teach. So, I applied for teaching degrees and off I went. Now, like most good ideas, it had its drawbacks. When I became a teacher with my own class I loved a lot of elements of it – I loved interacting with the children, decorating my classroom and coming up with new and exciting lessons.

 

However, I hated the politics involved in it. The endless paperwork that just didn’t impact the children. The tick box exercises which left me full of frustration and lacking in time. It was a sharp learning curve and, like many other teachers, I thought ‘there must be more’. There must be a way of impacting children’s lives without being micromanaged. There must be a way of making a difference without feeling like I was losing sight of what was important. 

And so, after many discussions and a huge amount of research, myself and my husband decided to try and foster. The idea that I had in my head was that fostering, for us, would be short term. That children would come to us while their parents receive some support and help to get them back on their feet and ready to be the care givers these children needed and deserved. We have friends that foster and we have seen new additions come and go across the years and we assumed that our journey would be similar. I wanted to foster to help bridge that gap, to not judge parents but to realise that sometimes, things get too much, sometimes parents can’t cope and we were going to provide that respite they needed to gather themselves again. 

I knew that when I started fostering there would be a lot of emotions involved. I’m a very (probably overly) emotional person and I knew that the process would make me FEEL. And that’s what I wanted. I wanted to be invested, to be integral in change and I wanted to be part of the reunification process.

 

Unfortunately, I didn’t realise that I would fall in love… 

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