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“We fostered instead of having our own children”: Sophie’s story

Monday 01 March 2021
Mother kissing joyful son

Sophie and Tom are among a growing number of young couples who are choosing to foster. Sophie talks about their journey so far*

We decided to foster rather than have our own children. There are so many children in need of a loving home. Some people find it strange. I’ve always had a caring nature. I want to look after people. Help them feel secure.

Tom and I have been together for 14 years. Fostering was something we’d always wanted to do. I’ve worked with many children and vulnerable adults, Tom is a police officer. We come from big families and have lots of nieces and nephews. It felt natural.

I used to be a teaching assistant, but always felt I could only do so much. You can make more of an impact as a foster carer.

Sophie, foster carer

To be a good foster carer you need empathy, and a caring personality. You need to want to make a difference. We’re all human, we don’t get it right all the time. It’s about how you repair afterwards. Teaching them it’s okay to make mistakes. Helping them learn how to deal with that. It’s about giving them skills. No foster carer is perfect. I always try my best.

I used to be a teaching assistant, but always felt I could only do so much. You can make more of an impact as a foster carer. Children need to feel safe to learn. Creating that safe space at home means we can make more of a difference.

We’ve only looked after one child so far, but she flourished in our care. The work we did with her meant she was reunited with her grandparents. We get such a reward knowing we’ve helped.

Teacher and young girl sitting on the ground reading a book together.jpg

The hardest thing for us was when our foster child went back to live with her relatives. They move on and often don’t look back. That can be painful. Also knowing what some of the children have been through is difficult. But we received a lot of support from Action for Children on how to cope with this.

We chose Action for Children as we liked their ethos and they’re family orientated. I feel like a valued member of the team. Our social worker and fostering manager are brilliant. Communication is good. There’s lots of events and meetings with other carers. 

We chose Action for Children as we liked their ethos and they’re family orientated. I feel like a valued member of the team.

Sophie, foster carer

Foster carers have to “parent plus”. It’s not basic parenting. We’re helping them overcome childhood trauma. Action for Children provides plenty of training. It helped us to become confident and competent foster carers.

If I wasn’t a foster carer I’d still be working with children. Fostering was something I was always destined to do.

*This story is anonymous. The names have been changed.

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