Dave and Abbey’s story, Manchester
“Before fostering I worked in a builder’s merchants on the trade counter. My mates could not understand why I was leaving to look after kids. Abbey is a music teacher and teaches at various schools. She has school holidays off so it made more sense to us for me to become the main carer, be with the kids fulltime and share in the holidays. We also have two children ourselves.
A social worker came to see us initially and discuss what fostering is like and from there we did three weekends of training. It opened our eyes about how and why kids come into care and you get to understand why they need looking after. What made it real was there were experienced foster carers who came to the training to tell us how it really was, what was good and pitfalls to watch out for.
During the assessment period, they have to make sure all the checks are completed to make sure any kids placed are safe, which is absolutely right.
After we were approved to be carers we had our first kids placed with us within a week, a sibling group of a boy and a girl. We were very excited and also a bit apprehensive. This placement should have been for a weekend and they stayed for nine months. They eventually moved to long-term carers and we still stay in touch.
I love telling people I am a foster carer and I am very proud of what I do. I love talking about the kids’ achievements. Foster carers are vital to look after kids who haven’t experienced a positive family environment.
We have had good support from Swiis. They have helped us with extra educational support and some issues around the kids’ health. There is 24 hour support available which means there is always someone to talk to. It makes you feel confident to know it’s there even if you don’t use it.
Fostering has changed my life. It is hard work, demanding and stressful, but it reaps so many rewards and benefits – not only for our family but also the kids that are placed with us. I feel privileged to be a foster carer.”
“I love telling people I am a foster carer and I am very proud of what I do.”
Please note – all names have been changed and photos are not real people, but staged scenarios for publicity / advertising purposes.