Annette and John first started their fostering journey after Annette, who is a filmmaker, began working with young people in her projects. Both Annette and John had experience of working with children and young people. After seeing the difficulties many of them faced and realising what a tough time many of them were having, they decided to ‘give something back’.
Annette says “We have had a really positive experience and we hope other people see that and get involved in fostering. It’s very rewarding and makes you feel so proud. We would definitely recommend it.”
Annette’s parents used to foster children when she was younger, and her memories of those days are very fond. “I remember really enjoying having all the other young people in our house,” she explains, “they didn’t always stay very long but it was great fun and I know my parents found it really rewarding. So I suggested it to John and he just said ‘let’s give it a go’.”
Although initially fostering teenagers, the couple then moved on to looking after younger children and have now been fostering the same child for more than three-and-a-half years.
Annette says he has ‘blossomed’ during his time living with the family.
His teachers have remarked on his progress and Annette adds: “It’s just about not giving up. It can be tough but you have to remember these children have been through a lot – so you have just got to ride out the storm. When you see them doing well and making positive changes it is such an amazing feeling.”
Annette says she feels the family has been very well supported by Fostering North Yorkshire throughout the process and that there has been plenty of training on offer.
She explains: “Both the foster carers and the children have their own social worker, who can guide them and help them with anything they may find difficult. The training is also a great way to meet other families in similar situations – it is really useful to meet other foster carers and hear their stories. Its good also to share tips and learn new things.”
Annette wants to encourage more potential carers to come forward and get involved as she believes it can make a real difference for not only the child, but the family and the foster carers also.
“It is worth it for how rewarding it is and how wonderful it feels to watch them develop and know what a difference you have made. In my opinion it is just about giving it a go and seeing if it is for you. You might help a young person – and it really does change lives”