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Tracy & Ian’s Story

Congratulations to Tracy & Ian who have been awarded Jay Fostering’s ‘Foster Carer of the Month’ for January 2018!

When we presented Tracy with her certificate, we asked her –how did you get into fostering?’

Prior to starting fostering 4 years ago, Tracy had worked in Child Protection for 20 years, and also taught ‘Protective Behaviours’ in schools for a further 5 years. By her own admission, having seen a number of children being removed from their families and placed into foster carer, she “did not like the system” and vowed that one day she would “change it for the better”.

Tracy and Ian were initially concerned about the impact on their own daughter, as well as their wider family, as although Tracy had a lot of experience in working with children and young people, the rest of her family had not. “I had worked with children who had suffered horrendous abuse and were extremely traumatised, and was worried how this might impact my family, in particular my daughter. However, seeing how my daughter has grown and coped with our family fostering makes me wish I’d done it earlier!”

Tracy brings a therapeutic approach to fostering, and feels “getting down on a level” with children and young people helps her to understand how they might be feeling. “Children are often labelled for being in care which is helpful and wrong. They need a supportive, loving and understanding environment in order to thrive”.

Fostering can be difficult at times, especially when working with children who have complex behavioural issues. “My biggest frustration though, is when people think that one solution fits all. Children are individuals, and have their own individual story which means they need a level of care which is unique and tailored to them”. For Tracy the best part of fostering is “seeing children progress as individuals and watching them grow in confidence. Sometimes the smallest things mean the most to them, such as the smile on their faces on Christmas morning.”

Tracy and Ian are supported by their Supervising Social Worker who has been particularly helpful when they are looking after challenging children. “I feel really supported by my Social Worker, and whenever there have been problems, they have been sorted very quickly.” The training is “excellent” and this allows Tracy and Ian to enhance their skills as foster carers even further.

“Fostering has many ups and downs, however it is such a rewarding vocation. When you think of the difference you are making to children’s lives – it’s all worth it!”

On behalf of everyone at Jay Fostering, well done and thank you for your dedication to children and young people and congratulations on your award – thoroughly deserved!

Find out more about what’s involved in becoming a foster carer by calling us today on 0800 0443 789 or email