“Empty nesters” are parents whose own children have grown up and left home. Your children may be planning to go to university in the near future or they’ve already built their own little family. Either way, your own home may feel empty after the bustle of family life for so long.

You may have lots of ideas about what you’d like to do with your spare time; go on that once-in-a-lifetime cruise, join your local book club that you never had time for, or even take up a new hobby. But we just wanted to make a suggestion. Have you thought about fostering?

We have more than 270 children and young people in Reading who need looking after. They need that family life and experience that you have been able to give your own children, with love, care and stability.

Here’s Maggie and Mike, our foster carers who started fostering when their own children left home.

“We’re both in our early 60s now, and you do get people asking if we find it tiring. We’re lucky in that we are both fairly energetic, but because we’ve never stopped doing it, it doesn’t seem too much.

There really is a lot to learn, which is one of the great things about being a foster carer: you’re often dealing with delicate family matters for instance, which can open your eyes on the world, so you’re always adding to your experience and skills.

We started fostering some 14 years ago. We only had one son living with us by then, so we had room. Mike was very supportive – and that is essential. If you are a couple, fostering will only really work if both of you are committed. Mike continued to work full time initially and has, in recent years, taken early retirement, so he now plays a big part too… although if I’m honest I do seem to be the one to get up most often at night!”

Read more from Maggie and Mike’s story

If your children have grown up and you have space in your home, you could make a real difference to a child’s life in Reading.


…This is fostering.


Our goal is to find more foster carers for our children and young people in Reading. How can you help? 

  • If you’d like to find out more about fostering and become a foster carer yourself, get in touch with us. Our friendly fostering team are at the other end of the line on 0118 469 3020. You can also enquire and you’ll get a call back.
  • If you’re not able to foster yourself but would like to help, you can help us spread the word.
    • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and share our posts
    • Tell someone if you think they’d be a great foster carer! This can be a family member, friend or colleague.
    • Invite someone to one of our information events.


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