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Fostering a Grandparents Story

Voices of Fostering – a grandmother speaks on National Grandparents Day

On National Grandparents Day, we’d like to celebrate and pay tribute to some amazing people – foster grandmothers and grandfathers.  We’ve interviewed one of our lovely grandmothers, Beryl from South Yorkshire and asked her what it’s like to be a foster grandmother to K.

A grandmother speaks about how foster caring has enriched her family

Five Rivers:  What was your reaction when your daughter Annie told you she wanted to become a foster mother ?

Beryl:  Annie always looked after dolls and teddies when she was growing up so had a caring nature – she helped me bring up her disabled brother.  She was a child minder for 10 years so it seemed a natural decision.

Five Rivers:  What is your relationship with your foster grandson?

Beryl:  I do spend a lot of time with him – we have a similar interest in gardening and I am able to talk to him about this and to help him – planting etc. and he helps me.  He cut the lawns last week.

Five Rivers:  What role do grandparents have to play in fostering ?

Beryl: They should be aware of the situation and the family impacts.  I introduce K as “my young friend”.  I treat him as a person – he is happy with that; I have a role to interact with K – especially with gardening and to help to support him when required to maintain the family unit.

Five Rivers:  What is the best thing about being a foster grandparent?
Being useful.

Five Rivers:  What advice would you give anyone who is about to become a foster grandparent?

I was not asked about Annie and her husband’s  decision – my advice would be to stand back and let it happen; it’s not a role you take on as soon as the looked-after child walks through the door; you need to let the child or young person come to you.

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