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Couple urge others to consider a career in fostering

With people across England facing bleak employment prospects as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, two of our foster carers, Gordon, and Marilyn, from the North East, believe that more people should consider fostering in this time of uncertainty.

Gordon, a former owner of an independent financial advisor business, and Marilyn, who worked in retail for Principles, first considered fostering when Marilyn was made redundant. When Principles went into administration and announced the closure of 66 stores, Marilyn knew that it would be very likely that she would be made redundant.

While speaking to her daughter about possible career options, she mentioned that she knew someone who worked for Five Rivers and suggested that her mum found out a bit more about fostering. Looking back on this time, Gordon said: “It was quite a stressful time for us both when Marilyn was made redundant, but actually looking back, it was the perfect opportunity for her to change her career and do something that she’d always wanted to do. When we rang up Five Rivers, we really didn’t know what to expect as we didn’t know much about fostering at the time. However, within an hour we’d filled in all the forms. It just felt like the right thing to do, particularly because Marilyn had always wanted to work with children, and she was a great mother to our own children too, so we both felt that we could offer a safe home to children and young people.”

In December 2009, Marilyn and Gordon were approved as foster carers and are currently foster parents to brother and sister siblings. Now that Josh has turned 18, he can live independently as an adult, but as he doesn’t currently feel ready, he’ll remain with Marilyn and Gordon until he does. His sister is also with the couple as a long-term placement, and she will be able to choose if she’s ready to leave when she’s 18 too.

Gordon decided to retire from his job nine-years-ago and become a full-time foster carer alongside his wife. Speaking about his decision, Gordon said: “Even though Marilyn was always classed as the main carer, it really is a joint effort. Therefore, when I decided to retire, it just made sense for me to become a full-time foster carer too as I was already so involved. While it was never about the money, considering we were planning to be living off our pensions by now, it’s great to have a little income doing something we both love. It doesn’t feel like a job at all, watching Josh and his sister grow up and see how far they’ve come makes any of the challenges you face seem irrelevant. Five Rivers has offered so much support and training throughout our 11-years of fostering, and even now we’re still learning new things. That is what makes Five Rivers so unique.”

For more information on fostering, book a call with us or you can apply to foster by filling out this form.

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