Ever wondered what it's like to be a Foster Carer? Paula shares her journey and explains why choosing to become a foster carer was one of the best decisions she's made in a long time.
My name is Paula and I have fostered with ISP for 2 years. Since joining ISP, I've had the pleasure of caring for 3 children, aged between 8 and 13. I've worked with teenagers for many years and saw the amazing work of other foster carers and the progress they'd achieved. My own children had grown up and I wanted to help and nurture other children.
I knew that children who had come into care may have experienced difficult starts in life, but I felt that I had the understanding and patience to support them. I underestimated the happiness I would receive from supporting the foster children. I quickly developed close and caring relationships with them and had the satisfaction of watching them develop in a positive way.
I forgot the fun of going to the park or swimming with children. The enjoyment of organising birthday parties and capturing lovely memories. I was able to relive all the lovely parts of bringing up my own children.
Watching a child's confidence grow is invaluable. Seeing the first time they achieve something they didn't think possible, is a very emotional experience and I have had hundreds of these moments in just 2 years. I feel very lucky.
Don't get me wrong, It is hard work (as any parent will tell you) and there are challenges along the way. Thankfully, ISP gave excellent training and I always have a supportive team around me to help me with the more challenging aspects of parenting children who have had difficult life experiences.
Becoming a Foster Carer with ISP was the best decision I have made in a long time.
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