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Sunderland foster mum helps a young girl through fostering

With people across England facing bleak employment prospects as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, one of our foster carers, Joanne, believes that more people should consider fostering in this time of uncertainty.

Joanne became a foster carer after leaving her job as an assistant primary school teacher to care for her elderly mother. She had always wanted to be a foster carer, but when Joanne began to notice leaflets and posters calling for more foster carers in the North, she decided to finally take the plunge and embrace the challenge.

For just over a three years, Joanne has been fostering with us and she is now foster parent to 16-year-old Bethan*, who has become part of the family.  

Bethan* has developed a close bond with Joanne’s biological daughter, 14-year-old Emily and the girls refer to each other as “foster sisters”, and enjoy playing with their pet dog, Tommy.  They regularly attend a girls’ group hosted by Five Rivers, and Emily has made friends with another foster child through their shared love of Harry Potter.

While Joanne was caring for her mother, Bethan* regularly accompanied her, eventually becoming actively involved with her care. It soon became apparent that she had a natural rapport with members of the elderly community, and enjoyed socialising with elderly members of Joanne’s church.  As a result, Bethan* is now preparing for the final exams that will allow her to pursue a qualification in social care at college.  

Joanne said: “Bethan’s* work in social care for the elderly has become a real positive in her life, and she loves it.  It’s so nice to think that it was my mum who set her off on the path that will hopefully lead to a long-term career for her.  

“There are real challenges in foster care, but you work through them one by one.  Whenever the foster child achieves something, it’s a real reward for the foster carer.”

Five Rivers encourage strong, personal support networks in local areas for their foster carers and Joanne said: “The support system is really important for me.  I have my own friends and family who have been really understanding, but with Five Rivers there’s always someone on the other end of the phone if I need support, day or night.”

Joanne says: “We’re desperate in the North for more foster carers; there are so many children and young people who need a helping hand from someone who can give them a home and a family environment.”

For more information on fostering, book a call with us or you can apply to foster here.

*Please note, names have been changed to protect the identity of the foster child


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