Thinking about fostering? Read about Tyrone fostercarers Bridget and Albert
24/03/2014If you’ve been thinking about fostering, then the Southern Trust Health and Social Care Trust is urging you to come forward to provide a vulnerable child with a foster home.
Tyrone couple Bridget and Albert had been thinking about fostering for a long time and were inspired by the television advertisement of the little boy arriving at the foster carer’s home.
Bridget explains: “That advertisement made me think seriously about fostering. Albert and I have five children and two grand-children of our own but we wish we had started fostering years ago. The benefits outweigh any disadvantages especially when we see how happy and contented the children are in our home. I am content to be at home and Albert and I will foster for as long as we can. It is very rewarding and we would recommend it to anyone who is able to help a child.”
Bridget and Albert attended the Skills To Foster course where they learnt more about the fostering ‘process’.
“As part of the process, we were assigned our own social worker who is really easy to talk to and very supportive,” says Bridget. “We completed all the paperwork which went to an independent fostering panel three years ago. Since becoming approved fostercarers, we have cared for two children on long-term placements.”
Albert, who is a fisherman on Lough Neagh, adds: “I didn’t really consider fostering. When Bridget and I talked about what it would mean for us, our family and the children who would benefit from coming to our home, I was keen and supportive. Each child has their own personality but it’s great to see the change and the development over time. We treat them as our own children. Fostering is our way of life and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Bridget hasn’t ruled out speaking to other foster carers one day but at the present time she and Albert are providing a safe, secure and caring family life for vulnerable children.
If you are thinking about becoming a fostercarer and would like to open your home to a child, why not come along to a fostercarer recruitment event? The next event is taking place on Thursday 3 April from 2-7pm in Armagh City Hotel and foster carers and social workers will be available to answer questions. Or call 0800 0720 137 or visit www.adoptionandfostering.hscni.net for more information.