Siobhan and Nick

Siobhan and Nick have recently been approved as foster carers, specialising in supporting children in need of emergency accommodation and care. We asked them a few questions about their experiences going through the approval process, and why they chose to become foster carers.

What sparked your interest in fostering?

Nick: “We both have experience of working in children’s services and have been aware of situations where social workers are trying to find an emergency placement for a child on a Friday afternoon. Kids can end up staying in different hotels or with multiple carers and we found it heart-breaking.”

Siobhan: “Our lifestyle and circumstances mean we’re not in a position to take on a young person longer term but we can offer emergency care for two or three children for three to five days. We are able to offer them a more normal, family environment and someone they can talk to.”

How long had you been thinking about fostering before you decided to apply?

Nick: “We discussed it and about two weeks later we applied. We’re both parents and know what’s involved raising children. We thought there is a need here and we could do something about it. We’re very happy we’ve been approved. It does a lot of good for the children and we can feel good about ourselves.”

What made you choose Brighter Futures for Children IFA?

Siobhan: “Because I work there and I’m very passionate about looking after the children of Reading. But also because it’s a not-for-profit IFA. If I wanted to carry on fostering outside of Reading I would go for a local authority rather than commercial IFA.”

How did you find the assessment process?

Nick: “It took longer that I would have expected but Brighter Futures for Children worked at a good pace given the checks that have to be done. I didn’t think there was anything unnecessary in the process and it took about six months all together.”

What support and guidance have you received and how have you found it?

Siobhan: “We have done quite a lot of training and signed up for quite a bit more and there always seems to be availability. We also have a buddy who we keep in contact with.”

Nick: “Our assessing social worker has made a big effort because she knows we were keen to move things forward. I’ve felt all the way through that if something came up and we wanted support we could ring the office and speak to someone.”

What are you looking forward to the most on your fostering journey?

Nick: “The reason we did it in the first place. To feel we are making a contribution and helping a child or young person. It’s a source of satisfaction for us that if you do something good for someone, you feel good about yourself.”

What would you say to anyone considering fostering?

Siobhan: “Look at why you are considering doing it and be prepared for questions about your past and lifestyle. But it’s very do-able to get through to the approval stage and other foster carers we’ve spoken to always rave about how fantastic it is.”

Nick: “The satisfaction you get is something you can’t measure. It’s something you have to experience and that’s what I’d say to anyone considering fostering.

Inspired to follow Siobhan and Nick’s example to help children and young people in Reading? 

Click here to start the process