Carole is relatively new to fostering
I've been a foster carer for around 18 months and it is the most challenging and rewarding job I've ever done.
You have to put yourself in the child's shoes to really appreciate it. They arrive on your doorstep, a stranger's house and the door is opened by someone they don't know, often in an area new to them, it must be so difficult for them. Then, hopefully within a few weeks they are racing around your house, feeling at home and part of your own family, looking healthier and sleeping soundly. It is the best experience, fantastic to feel you can make a difference to a young person's life like that.
For 17 years I was a Purser for British Airways which I juggled for a while with being a mum to my two children, now aged 16 and 13 years, and I'm currently fostering two brothers, aged 12 and 8 years. The most eye opening thing has been my own children and how they have reacted to having to share mum and dad. They have taken the two boys under their wing and call them 'my foster brothers'. It seems to have made them appreciate everything they have, their home, their comforts and us, their parents. The whole family fosters.
The county council team has been really, really good. The support is there 24 hours a day if we need it. As a family we have a social worker we meet every six weeks and the boys have their own who sees them once a month, although we are able to contact them at any time if we need to. The training is amazing too, once you have completed your basic training you have lots of other courses available too. You get so much help and support.
You learn something new every day and you smile every day. When you see these children go out into the world feeling safe, secure and loved, that is one of the most rewarding jobs I've ever done.