Stuart and I had talked often about becoming foster carers as we were inspired by friends of ours that had been fostering for years.
As Stuart was semi retired and looked after our grandchildren, it gave him the confidence to seriously consider fostering. Walsall Council was recommended by a colleague so on impulse I rang for some more information. The first question I asked was "are we too old?" Stuart being 59 and me being 58. "No" was the reply and this was the start of a new chapter in our lives.
The whole process was extremely supportive, friendly and professional.
We were visited and interviewed at home by a social worker and put on the Skills to Foster training course which started in January. The training was very detailed and intense, and gave us the underpinning knowledge to support our journey to become foster carers. Following the training there was an assessment process. Although this process was very deep and detailed, we both thoroughly enjoyed it. The assessment was complete in July and we were approved as foster carers in September.
We currently have a baby who is 5 months old and we have cared for the baby from 3 days old. We cannot describe what it is like to be able to support this little one to have a great start in life. It has given us a new lease of life and our only regret is that we didn't do it sooner!
We’ve had to make very few adjustments to our life as baby comes everywhere with us, in fact, we are enjoying more days out than ever before, going to new places, and capturing all of baby’s early memories so they will have something to look back on in future years, it is a fantastic experience. Baby also fits in well with our grandchildren, interacting well with them, and this has not caused any problems with any of our grandchildren.
We have met some lovely foster carers during training sessions and chat often, this is lovely support, giving us the opportunity to support each other and learn from each other's experiences. We also have a social worker who visits us every four weeks, where we are able to get any advice and support we may need.
We know we have definitely made the right decision and are extremely proud to be foster carers at 60!