Lorimer - At the heart of fostering

Taking that first step to becoming a foster carer can be quite daunting for all the family. Our carers have been through the exact same process and have shared their stories with you.

Colin and Estelle

AdeleandSteve

Fostering is something we had always wanted to do. Both my children had grown up and then the company I worked for made my department redundant. So we discussed it as a family, as it impacts on everybody that lives in the house.

Once we had made the decision, I phoned Lorimer Fostering and had a talk with Billy. We then all sat down and talked it through some more, and then asked them to put us forward to the next stage of the process.

We knew it was not going to be easy but can be very rewarding as we had adopted my youngest daughter. We found the pre panel training very interesting and it made us think “Is this really for us?”

Once you have been approved and the children’s referrals start to come through, it’s important to make sure you are honest and say if you feel the child is not right for your family. By being honest this will make it better for everyone, as you want the placement to work.

Once we had a child coming we found this very exciting but it also made us very nervous, as you are having a stranger coming into your house.

The child we have placed with us has been great and we have a very strong attachment with him. He is part of our family and is treated like one of our own children. By doing this it has made him feel part of the family and given him more confidence and he has grown into a great boy.

It is not always easy but I feel he has made a good impact on our family and we have on him. This is very rewarding when you see them grow and make friends.

Annette and Graham

janetanddavid

Graham and I discussed fostering because once our kids had grown up we wanted to help other, not so lucky kids. We had an inkling that it wouldn’t be easy and that there was a lot for us to learn but we hoped to also learn a lot from the children we looked after.

We had a baptism of fire for our first foster child! He could be really nice but he had real problems with female authority and with authority at school. He was determined to return home to his mum or his older brother and made a false allegation against us. This really gave us doubts as to whether we were cut out to be good foster carers but with the support from Lorimer and our friends, family and neighbours, we decided to carry on.

We are now on our second placement and the two children we have are an absolute pleasure. Don’t get me wrong they have their problems but they are lovely kids and we both hope that they will remember their time with us and think fondly about this period in their lives.

Being a foster carer is totally different to dealing with your own children. You have to think about certain aspects: if your own child falls over and hurts themselves you give them a hug and kiss and say it’s going to be ok but with a foster child you have to take into consideration how they feel and depending on the circumstances the child may not like you to hug them and kissing is not appropriate.

Our first placement also had a big impact on our children as they couldn’t understand why the child had behaved that way, but they have backed us both and said that they are proud of us for trying to help fostered children.

Jayne and Ian

KathleenandStephen

When myself and my partner first started talking about fostering it was a very unsettling time, especially as my partner already had a teenage son that lived with us part-time, and we wondered how it would affect him.

Also, how would I feel when I was in the house alone with the kids, would my home be suitable, and what would be the long-term effects on our relationship?

We’ve been fostering for quite a few years now, and we’re sure we’ve done the correct thing. Although it can definitely be very challenging, we feel privileged to have the opportunity to play a part in the lives of the kids that come through our door.

Seeing them grow in confidence at home and school, knowing they have a safe environment to come home to, is very satisfying.

Although the challenges can seem very daunting at times, tantrums, running away, police at the door, meetings, not to mention contact with the kids family but the support from your Social Worker and the training that you receive really sets you up, and we never really feel that we are by ourselves. If anything we feel that our lives are definitely busy but more fulfilling.

We’ve had lots of different foster children, of all ages, some for short periods, some for over 2 years. We can honestly say that we’ve never looked back and can see fostering as part of our lives for many years to come.

Melanie

Lyn

Being a foster carer is a very rewarding job, knowing that through your own life experiences you have actually been in training to be able to help, support and guide a vulnerable child.

After many years contemplating taking up fostering I am so glad I eventually got around to doing it. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

Looking after a confused, and sometimes angry child, effects every emotion you have one way or another but imagine how it feels when you see a child sleeping peacefully in your home and under your care, you think “wow the nightmares have stopped!” That’s job satisfaction with many more “wow” situations to follow, with every fear or hurdle that’s overcome and every milestone the child achieves.

A short time in the life of an adult that chooses to foster, can make such a difference to the future of a young child whose whole life is ahead of them.

While fostering takes over your life, and becomes addictive, it’s very humbling and I myself feel privileged to have played such an important part in the lives of the children I have looked after. That’s what makes all the sacrifices worth it.