Lauren and Danny foster teenage boys
Lauren and Danny have been fostering for almost five years. They currently foster an older child and a teenager and have a six month old baby of their own. Both placements they have are long term, “they’re part of our family,” and having a baby has helped “cement” the family and the given the boys a role as older brothers.
Lauren and Danny both worked full time when they first applied and were assessed initially as respite carers. Since then Lauren has given up her business to become a full time foster carer. “I was worried about going from having a guaranteed salary to zero salary –but within three days of giving up the shop we had a sibling group.”
Lauren began her career working in family law and had represented parents whose children were in foster care, this had given her an insight into the start some children had in life. “I felt children deserved a better future.” Before fostering they had no childcare experience other than taking care of nieces and nephews for a couple of hours.
When asked about fostering teenagers Lauren told us, “I do prefer teenagers. They generally want to talk. It might take a bit of probing but they’ll usually tell you what’s wrong. And you can have a real laugh with them.”
“You could make it as busy or as not busy as you like, depending on how much you want to get involved with fostering as a whole”. Lauren explained “I have a routine, I get up with the boys and ensure they have eaten breakfast and are sorted for the day ahead.” Lauren is then able to be involved in lots of support groups as well as being on the committee for Rochdale’s celebration event for young people. They’ve also done a lot of training; “it’s invaluable when you don’t know what issues a child will have a they come through your door.”
Lauren finds the children’s achievements at school the most rewarding; “They don’t have to pass their GCSEs fantastically but if they’ve improved we feel a real sense of pride. You can see the change in their confidence. I feel like I’ve found my vocation.”
When we asked Lauren what she’d say to people thinking about fostering, she told us...
“Do it – at least enquire and look into it. It’s been the best thing we’ve ever done.”