Stacey and Grant began fostering in their twenties. When their daughter was four, they didn’t want to have another baby of their own, but wanted to expand their family in other ways. Stacey’s mother had been fostering babies for four years, and the couple wanted to give it a try.
They look after a 12-year-old boy on a long-term placement, as well as babies and toddlers short-term.
“I was working full time selling new build homes,” says Stacey. “A few months after getting our first placement, a boy aged nine, I decided to have a complete career change and take up fostering full time. I love fostering – I can’t rave about it enough!
“He came on respite and begged to live with us long term. He is disabled, and needs a structure and very clear boundaries. I didn’t realise how challenging he would be until he came to live with us – but that has been a big part of the reward for us.”
“He brings such a lot to the family. He is wonderful with my daughter. They are like brother and sister. He fits our home perfectly.”
“If you’re considering fostering, I’d say keep an open mind, and just try it. I had no intention of fostering an older child, and asked for under-fives. But actually find the older ones easier!”
“At Trust Fostering, there’s a big support network and plenty of training. There’s the weekly youth club, plus lots of other local support groups around Doncaster. We’ve got to know lots of other carers, and love having regular catch-ups.”
“It’s very challenging, but that’s what makes it rewarding. I don’t believe there is a child who can’t be helped.”