I decided to become a foster carer in 2004 after my husband passed away. I found that this was something I could put all my energy into and it gave me a new lease of life and path to follow. Apart from being a mum to Shaun, fostering became the main focus of my life. I cared for Kevin from the age of 11 until he left to live independently when he was 18. He still sometimes comes round for a chat and a meal with me.
I have really enjoyed my time as a foster carer with all the challenges and rewards I have experienced. It has been lovely seeing the children developing and growing and moving on whether to independence or to their adoptive parents or back to their birth family. This has been even more rewarding because my family and friends have all been very supportive over the years and accepted the children I have cared for and some of my family remain in touch with Kevin and Pippa still.
Most of the children I have looked after have stayed in touch with me and I love them visiting me or staying over. I have loved being a ‘grandma’ to Natalie and enjoy the weekends when she comes to stay over. I also enjoy helping out Pippa and her baby daughter now and again.
During my time at Caritas Care I have met some wonderful foster carers and made some very good friends of them. I have always received an excellent level of support from Bernie Galt my supervising social worker who was always there for me. I have also had support from all the fostering team.
I have had encouragement and support to complete my NVQ and also all the required training which improved my knowledge and confidence. I have even passed my GCSE English and learnt how to use a computer! Being a foster carer gave me an identity and increased my confidence. This confidence and my experience helped when I became a Panel member for Lancashire for a period of time.
I have some wonderful memories of my time caring for children.
I turned seventy in December 2015 and have decided that now is the right time for me to retire from fostering. I would like to thank Caritas Care for supporting me to experience the joys of being a foster carer.