Our foster carers
We’d like to introduce you to some of our dedicated foster carers. We give them our support as they give theirs to the young people in their care.
Meet our pride of carers
We have fostered with ACS for about two years. I worked in a hotel as a receptionist and Daniel is a self-employed taxi driver.
My husband and I already had two children of our own and two adopted children. Fifteen years later, three of them had flown the nest and we felt the time was right to look into using our parenting skills to foster.
ACS is great to work with and they offer training opportunities to improve our skills. They treat us like equals and there are no worries about calling them. We can even call their out-of-hours team in the middle of the night if we need help or advice. We attend a foster carers’ support group meeting once a month where all foster carers have the opportunity to share their experiences and encourage each other.
Our proudest moments in fostering are when we know we’re making progress in areas we thought were impossible at first. It's great to see the gradual change in the little things. Like when the boy in our care at the moment feels he can come to us with questions and when he needs guidance, and he listens to what we say.
Of course, fostering can be hard at times. But it’s the most wonderful feeling is to see our boy smiling and the sparkle in his eyes. It makes it all worthwhile.
We have been fostering with ACS for two and a half years. I used to manage a fleet of coaches, and continue to manage properties and sell motor vehicles on a small scale.
Becoming a foster career was initially because I wanted to fulfill my father’s dream. He had lost his mother at birth and then his father at the tender age of six.
Fostering is a job that allows me to learn and practise patience, and give back to the community.
The emotional challenge one faces with a foster child can be somewhat demanding at times, but we have received the right level of support from ACS, which is fantastic.
My proudest moment was when the child I care for told me, “This is my family now and you’re my father.”
I have learnt through my fostering career that there are so many children who need special people to provide them with care, but they are just not in abundance, so many children are losing out on being able to lead happy and fulfilling lives.
Working as a social worker and youth worker, there were particular children and young people that I felt I could care for with my family. The opportunity arose when the company I worked for lost the tender for the services we provided.
I have found ACS, to be a child-focused agency. Their Skills to Fostering training really impressed me, particularly the testimonials from young people about their positive experiences being cared for by ACS carers. I also joined ACS because of their faith-based referrals. I believe that following a faith is very helpful to children and young people.
The support from supervising social workers and their line managers is excellent and they try their best to support carers needs and ensure we have the training, advice and guidance we need, so that we can provide the best care we can.
My proudest moment as a foster carer was seeing one of the young people I fostered growing in confidence and playing the lead in her school play.
We’ve fostered with ACS right from when they started. I was a residential worker for young people and Lionel worked in the painting and decorating industry.
Working in the residential sector with young people made me realise that there is a need for some young people to be fostered, and that I could offer my own support.
It is a positive experience fostering for ACS. Lionel and I always feel supported as foster parents. ACS staff have always been readily available for support and advice at any time of the day or night. We feel very much a part of a tight-knit and diverse fostering family.
The best thing is being able to support young people with complex needs and seeing their self-esteem and confidence grow. It’s also great that you can empower young people to fulfil their true potential.
Our proudest moment as foster parents came when two young people that we had fostered for only two weeks contacted us on Facebook 15 years later, saying, “You were very inspirational in our lives and made us feel like special people when we were with you, and we’ve never forgotten you.” We have also seen young people progress to university, and supported them on their journey.
Lionel and I sometimes feel we have made no difference to the life of the young person who has stayed with us – but even though it’s sometimes a short period of time, it’s apparent that we do make a positive contribution to their wellbeing and enable them to make happy memories.
Moving to ACS was a daunting prospect but it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made and I do not regret it. The people at ACS have been fabulous with the level of support they have provided. I’d particularly like to mention my relationship with the supervising social worker, who has guided me through some demanding times with empathy, encouragement and understanding.
Before fostering I worked in catering and at one time had my own café. My interest in fostering began in the 1980s, when I watched a TV programme called Find a Family. It was about children needing foster families and my heart went out to all of them. I thought it was something that I would like to do, but at the time I was married, working and had two small children. So I put it to the back of my mind until 1999, when I was made redundant and my eldest son was leaving home for university. I had a spare bedroom and thought this was an ideal time to look into fostering,
I’ve had many children over the years and I think the best thing about fostering is seeing the difference you can make to a child’s life. Some children simply blossom once they are in care. There are many challenges, but dealing with the behaviour that damaged children present is probably the greatest one.
I have learned over the years not to dismiss children out of hand. Sometimes the information on a new referral can be very daunting, but actually meeting the child can be very different. Finally, I believe that you have to look at fostering as a way of life and not a job.