Caroline has been fostering for over 8 years, she wanted to make a difference to other people's lives and enjoys providing care for many children who need a loving home.
I have been fostering with Excel Fostering since 2012. Originally, I wanted to become a foster carer as my children were all grown and my own personal involvement with living with parents who have disabilities.
Both my parents have a hearing impairment and as an adult, as part of my profession, I began to work with teenagers who also had a hearing impairment.
My partner Frank, who I began fostering with, had been brought up in the care system and wanted to continue to help children from difficult backgrounds. For both of us, becoming a foster carer meant bringing a little fun and happiness to children who may not be able to live with their birth parents.
Frank unfortunately passed away however, I continue my fostering journey on my own. I have raised six children of my own and have taken care of eighteen children that I have fostered. Through my time as a foster carer we were approved for three children under eighteen.
My focus is now parent and child placements. We are lucky enough to have the space at home to be able to provide a healthy set up. We have two living rooms providing enough space for everyone in the house to have their own time away from each other which I feel is important.
I feel comfortable providing support to new parents and giving advice when needed. I encourage and nurture the parents to be the best they can be for their own child. Treating everyone as an individual is important as everyone has their own life experience that makes them who they are.
I encourage the young parents to take time for themselves as their mental health is also important. Parents who need some extra help caring for their own children may not have had the best childhood experience themselves. It is important to welcome them into the family and make them feel safe and comfortable.
My family and friends have always been supportive of my decision to become a foster parent. They did not have any concerns and embraced the process with me. I knew fostering would be a challenge but a worthwhile one. It took around 6 months to become a foster carer and I have never looked back.
I feel you never stop learning as a foster carer as there is always something else new that you may have not dealt with before. It is important to keep attending as much training as possible, as it really helps to develop your fostering style.
Fostering is worthwhile; my parenting style works well with the parent and child placements I look after. Parent and child fostering is an unique step but one that Excel Fostering really need carers for. They offer an in-depth course that covers everything you need to know. Whether you have been a parent or not some people just need a little extra help at the beginning stages of parenthood. Whether that is because they are a young parent themselves or have learning difficulties. If you have the time, I really recommend you becoming a parent and child foster carer. It’s varied and who else can say you helped to keep a family together and grow into independence.
I would recommend fostering with Excel; training, support from the team are both fantastic and if you have any doubts in your own ability to foster, Excel will support you through the process and provide you with all the training you need!