Brenda and Joseph began fostering after becoming empty nesters

Before I became a foster carer, I worked as a Church Treasurer. I lived in a three-bedroom house with my wife and our two grown up children and when they moved out we were both left with each other and all this empty space around us.

The house became empty and quiet! It was an awful feeling! We used to have people around and they weren’t any more. It is like losing a part of our life and a big part of our daily job. The caring task was reduced for the need of 2 people only. And some daily routines in the house are just so difficult to amend because we have been doing it for years.

With a life time of experience gained as parents and as childcare worker, we thought we could give other children a chance to have a home and a family as well. That’s when we started to think about becoming foster carers and giving other children a chance to have a stable home.

The assessment is very thorough. They checked every aspect of our personal life just to make sure that the children would be in safe hands.

When we became foster carers, our daily routine changed, and we had to review our priorities and make the children our first priority.

I would say that the first rule in handling the stress, that can sometimes comes the way of a foster carer, is to try to keep quiet and calm when crisis strikes, secondly, be tolerant and thirdly, offer alternative solutions. Children seem to respond this.

Despite the challenges, being a foster carer is very interesting and a rewarding job. You look after children and have the chance to make a difference in their life. Seeing them developing and thriving brings a joyful feeling. And becoming a foster carer has meant that we are now a part of a new network of people, which has been a bonus.

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