Why do people foster?
Tracey (38), a single parent from Rainhill, wanted to help a local child
"I had seen a lot of advertisements for foster carers over the years and had always been interested, I had a passion for childcare from my previous training as a nursery nurse. So when my son, Adam, started school, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to enquire.
As a single parent, I wasn't sure if I'd be considered, but I was reassured that this wouldn't be a problem. I was told that, in fact, some children need and thrive in a quieter household where they have more one-to-one attention.
I thought fostering would give me the perfect balance of career and home life, which it does! I was concerned about how fostering would impact on Adam, but it has been such a positive experience for him. He has learnt how to share, be more tolerant and to understand how fortunate he is. He also now has someone to play with, which in itself has a very positive impact on an only child. I've been fostering for two years now and will never look back!"
Andrew (30) and Jay (28) are a same-sex couple from Newton-le-Willows
"We've been together for six years and have always wanted a home filled with children, as we are very involved with our nieces and nephews. After discussing all our options, we decided to approach the fostering team in St.Helens and ask them for some advice. A few days later, a social worker came to visit us at home to discuss things further. We had lots of questions and they answered them all there and then. We filled out an application and were invited to attend the preparation groups a few weeks later.
A year down the line and we've fostered three children so far, and we'll be welcoming our first sibling group, a boy aged six and a girl who's four, next week; which we're really looking forward to! We're both very close to our siblings, so keeping families together is something we feel very strongly about."
Eve (47) and Paul (49) live in Eccleston and both work full-time
"We had our children quite young and have always loved that 'busy house' feeling. When they grew up and left home four years ago, we really missed having children in the house. A couple of our neighbours fostered, so we had a chat with them to see if it would be right for us. It sounded like just what we wanted. They put us in touch with their social worker who came to see us to tell us more.
Fast-forward three years and we've fostered nine children, some just for a night or two, others for more than a year. We found out a few months ago that the little boy who is with us now, and has been from birth, was not going to return to his biological mother and needed to be adopted. We knew straight away that we wanted to adopt him, and we're thrilled as we're going to be his forever family! We hope our story inspires others to become foster carers, it's the best thing we've ever done. Go for it!"