This is what some of our foster carers think about fostering:
"These children have been through so much and you get to watch them blossom and come to life – that is a great feeling.
“People need to go into fostering with realistic expectations. Some of the children that you care for aren’t always grateful for what you are trying to do for them because they come from very difficult circumstances.
“They often have very little confidence, but you get to help them and see them achieve things, even if they are just small things – those are memories that stay with you for life.
“It is a challenging role but the support I have had from the council has been brilliant. I’ve had two supporting social workers in my time with the council and they have both been really good in giving us the help and encouragement we need.”
“The great thing about fostering is the huge amount of joy and the sense of achievement you feel with little people in your life. It doesn’t matter how awful their lives have been they always have a smile and love to give and fostering is really rewarding.
“It is all-consuming - we eat, sleep and breathe fostering at every moment and it can be really challenging but it is worth it.
“Our social worker is fabulous and adaptable and offers us very good support. She is always on the end of the phone and when we have handovers she has even called us when she is off work to make sure everything is okay.”
Here are the views of some children and young people who have been fostered in Norfolk:
“Carers, good carers that do it for the right reasons, are amazing; they are like building a house, they do the bottom part, the foundations, without that you ain’t ever going to stop yourself falling down.”
“My carers have the patience of a saint. How they put up with me sometimes I don’t know, but I am glad they do because I need them.”
“My carers are the family I never had. They are always there for me and put me straight when I make mistakes, yet never stop caring about me.”
“My foster carers made a huge difference to my life. When I went to live with them I couldn’t really read or write. They helped me at home and now I can read and write enough to get by and I am thinking of going to college. This would never have happened without their hard work.”
“My carer is amazing. I have problems with depression but she never ever gives up on me and she has me back in school and thinking about college. She is always smiling and encouraging me to try new things. She has been like a rock for me to lean on.”
“My foster carers are just so nice. They made me feel welcome and have been really patient helping me learn how to behave and act, I was very angry when I came to live with them and said mean things but they never stopped caring about me and I slowly learnt that that isn’t the way to behave.”
“My carers are the reason I am now working and studying to get my qualifications in building. My carers always support me by talking, helping me learn to make good decisions and sometimes just listening to me. They are the reason I am the person I am and I could never pay them back.”
“My carers look after me really well. They make me smile even when I am sad, they feed me really well and made me a great bedroom with my own bed. I even now have a dog. I am happy now.”