“Fostering isn’t a job... these children are part of your family.”
Gareth and Wendy have been fostering for nearly nine years. Already parents themselves, the couple wanted to foster as their two sons had grown up and they had room to spare.
As part of Foster Care Fortnight, which runs 15 May - 28 May 2023, we asked them to tell us about how they began their fostering journey. They said:
We felt we could give a home to a child who had not had the best start in life.
Making their initial contact via Wirral Council’s website, the couple then met with a social worker who visited their home to find out a bit more about the family. At the time, they said they would be willing to foster siblings.
Following this meeting, Gareth and Wendy took a Skills to Foster course.
The course was eye opening, informative and at times upsetting,
say the couple. But rather than putting them off, it made them more determined to pursue fostering. It was the right thing for them.
After the course, a social worker was assigned to their case who assisted with their application process and shortly after, the couple were approved to become foster carers. It wasn’t long until the family were matched with two brothers who were eight and nine years old.
We’ve now had our foster sons for nearly nine years. Fostering siblings is something we would definitely do again and, having already raised teenagers, it’s helped us with caring for our teenage foster sons. We have done some respite for a five, six and seven year old and have cared for a baby from six days old.
It’s just a good feeling to have watched our foster sons grow into two young men. We hope we have given them the tools to have a health and fulfilling life.
We talked about how the parents bonded with the new additions to their family. Having been to watch his beloved Tranmere Rovers with his dad since he was a child, Gareth’s love of sport was key to the foster children getting used to their new home.
Gareth told us:
When our foster sons came to live with us, we already knew they enjoyed playing football, so it was only natural to take them to watch Tranmere. They both loved the atmosphere and all the singing and were soon hooked.
They now have their own season tickets and have been to an away match and are keen to go to more. We have encouraged the boys to play football for local teams and they are currently playing for the same team.
We asked Gareth and Wendy what they would say to someone considering fostering.
They told us:
To us, fostering isn’t a job, how can it be? These children are part of your family and you are opening your home to be their home. It is hard going at times, as parenting can be, but to see how they progress and then have their own aspirations for their future is something special to be a part of.
You are the main people in the children’s lives and whilst you are giving them the safety and love of a home you will also learn a lot from them which can only make you a better person.
When asked why people should consider fostering, the pair said:
Fostering is crying out for more carers to be able to open their homes and hearts and families to the children of Wirral who need love and safety to help them flourish.
Now more than ever after the past few years is the time to take that amazing step and find out if you too could become a foster carer and change your life and theirs for the better.
The number of children who need support in Wirral is rising and we are urging people with room in their home and their heart to get in touch. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0151 666 4616, or visit wirralfostering.org for more information.