Mel recently met with our lovely foster carer Laura to have a catch up and and to share her
experience of fostering with Excel Fostering.
Initially Laura thought she was too old to foster at 66, but with nothing to lose she decided to enquire and to her surprise was accepted and began the process of fostering and in her relatively short time as a foster carer, she has already made such a huge difference to the lives and futures of the young people and, parent and child she has cared for.
Being ‘too old to foster’ is one of the most common myths in fostering and many people still think once they reach a certain age they can’t foster, which is not the case. As along as you are fit and healthy, have a spare room and are willing to help children in need – you can foster. If you’re own children have all grown up and left the nest, this could be the perfect opportunity for you to reach out to children in need and change their future.
As an agency we are committed to supporting our foster carers to ensure they have everything they need to look after the children in their care. Laura said:
“I receive support for everything and that there is always someone there for me, 24 hours a day, if I need any help or support with a particular placement. It’s so important that foster carers know they’re not on their own and someone is there for them at the end of the phone.”
Furthermore, Laura made a very good point, in that she isn’t a ‘replacement Grandma’, because children can have more than one Grandma and she isn’t a replacement Mum either. The children know who their family are and that foster carers are there to help them (sometimes short, sometimes long term) at this particular stage in their life. Some children may need a Grandma, someone that can give them peace, quiet and the attention they need – opposed to a busy family. However, some children may need a foster family with other children their age or to look up to.
There is no ‘cardboard cut-out’ or one type of person/ family that is suitable to foster. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, straight or LGBT, a homeowner or renting, 21 or 65 – you can apply to foster and really can make a difference to the futures of these young children.
Laura’s young female person was adamant she was going to be independent at 16 but she will be 20 this year and still wants to live with her and comes home from university every night.
If you’d like to find out if fostering is for you/ your family, please give us a call on 01253 712 734.
You can listen to Laura’s full interview on our Facebook page.