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What fostering has taught me

Our foster carers shared their fostering life lessons

We spoke to our current carers to understand how their lives have changed since they made the decision to foster. They share some of the key lessons they learnt after becoming foster carers with Bradford Fostering.

There is no such thing as a typical foster carer

We’re incredibly proud of our diverse community - each and every one of our carers has something different to offer the children in their care. We welcome carers from all walks of life; your age, ethnicity, sexuality and relationship status are not barriers to becoming a foster carer.

“No one has a perfect life & I honestly believe they were not looking for someone all singing & dancing. In fact, I am quite boring!” - Jane, foster carer.

Before starting your fostering journey, we urge you to think about what type of fostering will work best for you. We know that you’ll have other commitments, so our fostering team can work with you to find a type of fostering that suits you and your family. Many of our carers offer a mix of short-term and long-term care, depending on the needs of the child. We also work with part time foster carers, who offer short breaks to children and young people based on their availability (minimum 8 sessions a month) . Find out about our different types of fostering.

“Make careful consideration - it’s not for everyone but it's very rewarding.” - Anita

Life as a foster carer isn’t always plain sailing

As with all families, things don’t always run smoothly! The ongoing work you do to make a difference in the lives of the children you care for will always be worthwhile.

“Sometimes, things do not work out in that moment but that can be the same for your own birth family. Looking at the bigger picture and getting back on track is so rewarding.” - Jane, foster carer

Read about Jane's experience as a new foster carer.

“There are days that will feel like groundhog day but that’s ok too. When you are all laughing and having a really good day, it reminds you why you do this” - Tracy, foster carer.

Having a support network around you is invaluable

Our carers found that having a solid support network was an important part of their success as a foster carer. Having your family and friends behind you will put you in the best position to provide amazing care to the children you support.

We are supported by Bradford Fostering, but you also need back up from your family and friends and to have people close to you who you trust to help and cheer you and the children on.” - Naomi, foster carer.

As a foster carer with Bradford Fostering, you will receive extensive support and guidance throughout your fostering journey. Your dedicated Supervising Social Worker will be with you every step of the way. The Bradford Fostering team is available on our 24/7 helpline, so you can reach us for advice and support whenever you need us.

Plus, you will have access to our amazing community of carers, who are always happy to help whenever you need it. Learn more about the support offer for foster carers at Bradford Fostering.

It’s important to consider your family and children

“You can’t overestimate the impact fostering will have on your children.” - Wendy & Michael.

Choosing to foster is a big decision for your entire family. We recommend having a conversation with your birth children to understand their thoughts and feelings about sharing their space and family with a foster child.

We value the role children who foster play in helping foster children feel safe and comfortable as they adjust to new surroundings. We host regular support groups for children of foster carers, so they can seek guidance and make friends with other young people with similar experiences.

“You need to consider the time required for training, how the rest of your family feel, and talk to people close to you about how it may affect them and ask them their thoughts and feelings too.” - Ashley & Mark, foster carers.

We spoke to some of our children who foster to hear about their experience with fostering on our blog.

Every child is unique

Just like every foster carer is different, every child will have a unique personality. Our foster carers told us that it’s important to see every child as an individual.

“Every child is different and they all bring their own joys and challenges and need to be helped and supported in their own ways. When you get that first smile or hug, it just makes everything else worthwhile.” - Gina & Pete, foster carers.

Read about Gina & Pete’s amazing 30-year fostering journey.

Providing stability is key for helping a foster child feel safe, secure and comfortable to reach their full potential. We know that we can’t achieve this overnight, building trust takes time.

“If you are thinking of fostering, you need to remember that relationships take time to grow. It doesn’t happen overnight.” - Heidi & Frank, foster carers.

Read Heidi & Frank’s inspiring story.

Fostering changes lives

Heidi and Frank told us that “Everyone has to keep in mind that children are in care through no fault of their own. They deserve the opportunity to be part of a loving family.”

“We were shocked to learn how many children do not get a fair start in life and we wanted to help families and children build the skills and identities for a brighter future.” - Ashley & Mark, foster carers.

Fostering changes lives, not just for children in care but for foster carers too.

“We both look at life a little differently, we have always been very family-orientated but even more so now and we hold on to every moment and realise not everybody has that opportunity” - Ashley & Mark, foster carers.

Hear about Ashley & Mark’s experience of becoming part-time Support Carers.

“Fostering is the best job you can have, but it is so much more than a job, it involves every aspect of your life and can be exhausting and heart-breaking, so it’s not for everyone. But the rewards are like nothing else so we would encourage people to make that call and find out more. It might change your life for the better like it did for us.” - Ashley & Mark

Become a foster carer with Bradford Fostering

Are you interested in providing care to a child or young person in the Bradford district? Get in touch with our team to discover how you can make a difference.

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