Posted: Wednesday 8th September 2021
I spent most of my working life in a school environment. In my job, I would often meet children who I wished I could take home with me, but with my own family I wasn't in a position to do that.
I raised my own children to adults and then I retired. After my husband died, I decided to grasp every opportunity that came my way. I did some voluntary work and considered getting a lodger. Then my daughter suggested that I foster.
"I'm too old to foster" I said.
"No you're not, there are people still fostering in their 80s" she said. So I decided to give it a go.
At age 66, I became a foster carer.
Over the last year, I have provided care for 14 different children. I'm a respite foster carer.
I'm proud to support the children's main foster carers who I admire greatly. I love being busy. Otherwise I'd be sat reading books, twiddling my thumbs and not talking to anyone. The children and the training courses give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
My dog is my greatest ally in fostering.
Even the most scared child arriving on my doorstep loves the excited greeting and wagging tail. They love to stroke him and I think he quite enjoys it too. He loves the company of children.
The highlight of my first year of fostering was a teenage girl who came for the weekend. We baked a cake together. She wanted to cook tea FOR ME! The next time I saw her, she wrapped her arms around me and said to her carer "oh great I'm going to J's again".
They look forward to coming back again so I must be doing something right.
It's common for the children to do a bit of baking with me when they come. Making homemade pizza for a movie night is a popular activity. I did have a difficult young person but actually I quite liked her. There has only been one young person that I didn't click with, and out of 14 that's not too bad.
I've also supported some young people having a difficult time at home. They've come straight to me from home. And when they go back home I feel like a WINNER. They are happy and back where they want to be.
To anyone who thinks they are too old to foster, take it from me. I've thoroughly enjoyed my first year of fostering, I've enjoyed the company and its not done me any harm.
Just go for it, give it a go.