“I foster because I knew I could help some children in need.
“I became a single parent to two sons when they were 5 and 6 years old and my journey with them was very positive; they eventually left school and found decent employment.
We always discussed everything has a family and I feel that I guided them the right way with education and independence to enable them to have a happy childhood and bright future.
“When they started work, I thought what do I do now? Who can benefit from my experience? I then saw a advert to become a Foster Carer and started the process.
I have also continued with my part time job, and the balance of both with the age group I have works.
“Through my fostering I have learned that our looked after children need slightly different parenting than our birth children.
Throughout the years, my research and training has been focused on how trauma can affect our children, and how their development is not mirrored with our birth children.
“The children I have fostered over the years have all taken pieces of my heart, made me into a more confident person and allowed me to express my parenting skills and experiences.
“I’ve had lots of moments of seeing how contented they have been; laughing, smiling and bonding with myself and family members, through experiences they have never had before.
“Over the years I have fostered, each child has changed my life in many different ways. Every child has had different needs and working with them and seeing the changes in them has changed me as a individual.
“All the children I have cared for came with their own story.
My wish for them all was to create a new story.
“To create this new story, I have met their needs with 1 -1 support, encouragement, and lots of love and family life that has made a difference to them.
“The young person I have with me now came to me with a very difficult past, and many additional complex needs. We talk about memories and make lots of new happy memories that she can look back on.
“She couldn’t ask for anything a few years ago and she doesn’t stop asking now, so this is how I know her story is changing.”
Find out more about fostering here: www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/social-care/fostering