Jenny and Paul highlight the joys of fostering

By Nub News Reporter

17th May 2024 | Local News

Jenny and Paul.
Jenny and Paul.

IT's no secret that there is a need for more foster carers and while many people may not have considered being a foster parent, those who do can help change a child's life.

There is a significant need in Thurrock for people to step forward.

Foster carers offer a loving home to local children and young people while their parents are unable to look after them.

It can be an enriching journey as you create an environment for children to flourish in, with the hope that where possible they can be reunited with their families.

We spoke to Jenny, 45 and Paul, 54 from Grays, who have been Foster Carers since February 2016, about how their fostering journey has been a life-changing experience.

Fostering had been something both Jenny and Paul had wanted to do for quite some time, but they had previously always thought they were ineligible.

Jenny said: "We had wanted to foster for many years, but we didn't have a spare bedroom, so thought we'd have to wait. Then we were told we could foster babies. In a heartbeat, we knew we had to do it.

Despite having three children of their own, their foster children have enriched the lives of the whole family.

Jenny continued: "At the time we had three of our own children, all living at home aged 19, 16 and 15.

"They embraced the whole journey and the connection they have with all the children who have come into our home is beautiful to watch. It works for us as a family."

There's no denying that fostering can have a host of challenges, but Thurrock's fostering service says it has a great support network in place.

A service spokesperson said : "We have a toddler group, coffee mornings, support sessions and lots more."

And Jenny confirmed that network of support is really helpful, adding: "We've made good friends and everyone is always available and on hand to help and support each other when it's needed."

Fostering has been just as much of a life-changing experience for Jenny and Paul, as it has been for the children that they have fostered.

Paul said: "We love fostering and feel it was something we were always meant to do in life. Every young person deserves a loving safe home. Not everyone has a good start in life, but with help and support, they can grow and develop into happy, confident and content people.

"For anyone who may be contemplating fostering, and who may have room in their home and their heart they encourage you to take the leap, find out a bit more and kickstart an amazing journey.

"Grab the opportunity with both hands, it's an amazing job with amazing people."

Find out more about choosing to be a foster carer.

     

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