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Leslie & Andy’s story

Congratulations to Leslie & Andy, who have been awarded our Carer of the Month for February 2019. They have been fostering with Jay for a year. When we presented Leslie with the couple’s certificate, we chatted about how they came to foster.

What made you decide to become a foster carer?

We had been talking about fostering for some time before we took the plunge. We had moved house and we only had one grown up daughter left at home. I was not happy in my job and was feeling that it was time for a change.

We felt that we could do our best for any child who came to stay with us whether it would be for a few weeks, months or years, it would not matter what their challenges were; we wanted to help them feel safe and comfortable while they were with us.

How long did you think about fostering before you applied?

About 2 years.

Did you have any reservations about fostering before you applied?

Yes, initially we were concerned for whether we would still get time just us ‘a couple’, but as time has gone on, we have still managed to make time as we did when our own children were younger. This time we have the support of our family and friends, which has made our experiences and the children’s experience very positive.

What did you do before you fostered?

I was a community nurse

What skills do you feel that you bring to the role of a foster carer?

I feel that I have a professional outlook that helps with the legal side of fostering. I have empathy, patience and I feel that I can listen well. I have always embraced continual personal development and this is ongoing in fostering, as there is lots to learn, and it has brought a new enthusiasm. I have the experience of bringing up three children of my own and I have childcare qualifications from when I left school and when I was childminding. Life as had its ups and downs and this has made me more resilient, which will help me and the children we foster.

What is the most enjoyable thing about fostering?

Watching children in our care feel safe enough to play and laugh. I have also enjoyed the training which I have found very useful in caring for the children.

What has been the most difficult part of fostering?

Some of the children’s behaviour has been challenging and learning how to channel this in a new way has been difficult. Therapeutic parenting has been very helpful but it does not come naturally, as you are learning as you go.

What support do you receive from Jay?

We have had great support from Jay Fostering! They have been there throughout the year. We don’t know them all but when we speak to them on the phone or see them at training, they are always helpful and willing to spend time talking to you. We have our own Supervising Social Worker who does supervision with us every 4 weeks, and she has been fantastic! She has supported us through many areas, giving us advice with difficulties with the children, helping with Local Authority Social Workers and she has been there on the end of the phone whenever we need her.

The training has been really good too; there is opportunity to do a lot of different study days and it has all been relevant and well presented by enthusiastic lecturers with years of experience themselves. I have enjoyed all of them and learnt a lot from them.

Would you recommend becoming a foster carer to anyone else?

We would recommend becoming a foster carer to anyone who felt that they could offer a safe, happy home to a child. You just cannot imagine how rewarding it can be until you do it. There are times of utter joy and complete sadness in equal measures but it is an absolutely fantastic thing to do. Thank you Jay Fostering, for helping us to become foster carers!

And thank you for becoming foster carers with us Leslie & Andy! It is a pleasure working with you both.