In the run up to Foster Care Fortnight in May, our UK Fostering Foster Carers would like to share with you some of their fostering experiences. Today we hear from Nicola and Kevin:
Five years ago we become foster carers with UK Fostering NE, and in these five years we have cared for nineteen children, who have entered our home and stolen our hearts. All the children came with their own unique stories and are all very different.
I would like to share with you a brief account of the sibling group we looked after back in 2019. I recall opening the door to two small, petrified children, behind them stood a social worker. The children at first glance just look like toddlers however, they were actually six and four. Sadly, their mum suffered from severe mental health which impacted on her ability to care for her children.
In their short lives these children had not experienced very much in the way of interacting with other children or adults. They had spent their short lives locked away in a three bedroomed house with only mum for company, only leaving the house once a week for church.
The children had been on a very restricted diet, eating only one meal a day which consisted of fruit, vegetables and buckwheat. They were under nourished and presented as sad little children. They had not attended school and didn’t know how to play with toys and had never even seen a television; the things that our own children take for granted.
With our love, determination and support the children slowly learned how to play. They discovered parks, soft play, and swimming pools. They experienced with us their very first Christmas, first birthday party and first day at school.
Within a year these two small withdrawn, shy, vulnerable children had changed into two confident beautiful individuals who thrived on routine and school. We worked closely with the local authority and our fostering agency, and these children ended up going to live across the country with their birth father.
It wasn’t the easiest year of our lives and there were a few hurdles and bridges to cross but if I’m honest it was probably one of the best years of my life.
You could experience this joy too – think about becoming a foster carer.
By Nicola & Kevin, Foster Carers – UK Fostering NE