foster carers look back on their incredible 23-year journey of fostering with foster wales flintshire

Posted: Friday 5th July 2024
Blog: Blogs


My name is Anita and I’d like to tell you about my fostering journey which I’ve had the privilege of taking alongside my husband Peter for the past 23 years. It’s a journey marked by love, resilience, and a commitment to making a difference, and one that has profoundly shaped our lives and our community.

Our family includes six children: four biological and two from long-term fostering—and eleven grandchildren, one of whom is also through long-term fostering. This number alone tells a story of an extended family that grew in the most unexpected and beautiful ways. We didn't just foster children; we built lasting relationships that have enriched our lives beyond measure.


"fostering is in my blood"


 Fostering is in my blood. Growing up in a family that fostered and adopted, the idea of opening our home to children in need was a natural part of life. This tradition continued with my daughter, who has also fostered and adopted children. It's a legacy of care and compassion that spans generations.


"these young people are still part of our family today"


My path to becoming a foster carer was a natural progression from my role as a Sure Start childminder. Balancing both roles for a while, I eventually decided to focus fully on fostering, drawn by the profound impact it had on young lives. Our fostering focus has been on long-term care. We’ve had three long-term placements, all of whom were for between 14 and 22 years, and I’m delighted to say that these young people are still part of our family today. Additionally, we’ve provided emergency and respite care on many occasions, offering children a safe haven and their foster families a chance to recharge.

Initially, our plans for fostering were modest. We began with respite and emergency placements for children aged 4 to 11, avoiding babies and children with special needs due to our circumstances - however, life had different plans! Our first placement was two babies, and our second involved two boys with special needs. These experiences taught us the importance of flexibility and the incredible capacity of the human heart to adapt and love unconditionally.


"fostering is both challenging and rewarding"


Fostering is both challenging and rewarding. Beyond ensuring the children’s safety and well-being, our aim was to help them grow, to prepare them for independence and to help them become well-rounded individuals. Clearly I couldn’t do this alone and it was a team effort with my family, especially Peter, playing a crucial role. Together, we balanced head and heart decisions, creating a nurturing environment for our foster children.

Our team also included dedicated social workers, health professionals, and educators. From doctors and dentists to school nurses, neurologists, speech therapists, and behavioural specialists, everyone contributed to the well-being of the children. Our ‘Looked After Children’ (LAC) nurse, in particular, was exceptional, always going the extra mile.

Education was a cornerstone of our fostering. The children needed both formal schooling and social education through activities like judo, football, swimming, and ice skating. These activities required transport, supervision, and support, sometimes just to prevent unwanted behaviour. One of the most valuable resources was the Mockingbird group—a community of amazing foster carers functioning as an extended family. They provided sleepovers, adventures, and outings for the children, while the foster carers supported each other with advice, chats, and a good rant when needed! Education is also key for foster carers and, throughout my fostering career, I have sought additional education to improve my skills with the support of my social worker.


"i am profoundly grateful for the opportunity and would do it all over again"


In summary, fostering is demanding but immensely rewarding. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity and would do it all over again, knowing what I do now. Our journey has taught us that fostering is not just about providing a temporary home; it’s about building lasting relationships, creating stability, and helping young people realise their potential.


could you make a difference and foster with your local authority, like anita and peter?


If you live in Flintshire, contact Foster Wales Flintshire and a member of our dedicated team will be in touch for a friendly, no obligation conversation to help you decide if fostering is right for you.

If you live anywhere else in Wales, visit Foster Wales for more information and to find your local authority fostering team.