'It has been really great for our family'
“Fostering was something we had discussed. In our minds it was something we would do once our own children left home. Our eldest is seven, our youngest four. We have a nice house, a loving family and we realised that we could offer that to other children who need that for a time.
“I was considering going back to work but decided just to go for it. We considered all our options – we contacted a few different places, independent agencies and different councils and decided that Darlington was the most approachable.
“We wanted to feel part of a team – to know the people that we would be working with. We found that with the council in Darlington – real people who were eager and willing to speak to us.
“We were approved in April last year. Looked after children in Darlington are placed with the council’s in-house recruited foster carers first and so we didn’t have to wait long. We had our first placement within a couple of months.
“It has been really great for our family. Tom works full time and it has given us so much flexibility. I am helping others, bringing in an income and being where I need and want to be for our own children.
I’ve got access to a great team as well as a network of local foster carers, and some excellent training. I have done ten courses already!
“Our children love having a baby around. It has been nice for them to see different aspects of life – they want to help, and they do know that he is leaving and not staying.
“My advice to other parents thinking about fostering is to be open with your own children from the beginning. Our social worker Hannah has involved the children at every step of the way – they have been actively involved and this has contributed to their resilience.
“If you are considering fostering, I would recommend that you contact the fostering team at Darlington Council.”
If the time is right for you now, get in touch with us to talk about taking the first step on your fostering journey. If you are still undecided, join us for one of our informal fostering information events.
You can download a handy guide to becoming a paid foster carer with us here [pdf].