Gloucestershire parents provide a home for more than 80 children
As part of Foster Care Fortnight, two of our carers, Sally and Tony, are sharing their story in the hope it will inspire more people to consider foster care.
Sally and her husband Tony, have been fostering since 2000 and in that time have provided a safe place to live for more than 80 children and young people.
20 years into their fostering journey, and with the help of an extension added to their house, Sally and Tony’s family has not stopped growing. They have grown up foster children who still call them mum and dad and those they have fostered who now have children of their own, who they call their grandchildren.
Sally explains that it is not unusual for foster children they’ve had no contact with for years to give her a call. She said: “My number has stayed the same since we started fostering, I won’t change it. Every child that has come to us knows they can call me anytime and I will always be there for them, because you never know what situation they may be in. I can’t fix everything, but I’d like to think of my house as somewhere they can come to if they need it. Sometimes all they want is to pop by the house for a cup of tea or a packed lunch.”
The couple currently hasve two children with them in long term foster care, a girl who has special educational needs and will stay with them until she’s 25, and a teenager who will live with Sally and Tony until she’s 18.
Speaking about the importance of the support Five Rivers provides, Sally said: “Five Rivers has so many carers who are genuinely nice people, it’s great to feel part of something special and they work hard to create a support network for the carers. My social worker is my right-hand woman. They do this job for a reason, they’ve been chosen in the right way, they genuinely care about the children, and they care about us.”
For more information on foster care contact Five Rivers Child Care on 0345 266 0272 or visit www.five-rivers.org.