Fostering with By the Bridge - our story
18 months ago my husband Julian arrived home from work and very casually over dinner asked me a question that had the potential to change both our lives. That question was “Michelle, would you consider fostering”. At that point fostering was something I knew people did but I had no idea what type of people, how did you even go about finding out about it? I had worked in hotel management for 27 years, could I really do anything else? The moment the question was asked my heart immediately said YES! And from the moment we made the call to go to the information evening our life change was put into motion.
The children concerned need a safe, warm, loving home with foster Mums and Dads that will protect, nurture, support but first and foremost love them. Children have a right to be loved!
We felt very much supported through the process from our induction, our assessment and finally panel day. Julian and I were both so nervous but our By the Bridge support worker made us feel at ease. By the Bridge really do support you every step of the way.
Once through panel we were introduced to our dedicated Link Worker who is there to offer you support, advice, or just an ear. The training offered by By the Bridge is invaluable, a degree-level course is also available should you wish to pursue this; but there is no pressure to do so. With 24 hour support you are NEVER alone!
Our first foster child arrived in February 2014 and our journey began. Our first child was an angry, confused teen and seeing the teen slowly settle and become happy and childlike was akin to winning the lottery I am sure. We have kept in contact and it is wonderful to hear that they are doing so well.
One year later we are stronger, wiser and more experienced. Fostering is a challenge but one that brings immense rewards. You will have what I call a year of firsts. Each time you are faced with a challenge you have never experienced chalk it up on your year of firsts board and the second time the challenge arises you will find it so much easier to overcome.
Fostering for Julian and I is a journey of self-discovery and learning, with each child you learn more about yourself as well as issues in the world regarding your foster children that you may have only ever read about.
Fostering has changed our lives for the better, it isn’t always easy but who wants easy?!
We have made some friends that we know will be in our lives forever and I know we can call and have a good talk to and they completely understand where we are coming from.
Children come into the care system for numerous reasons. The children concerned need a safe, warm, loving home with foster Mums and Dads that will protect, nurture, support but first and foremost love them. Children have a right to be loved!
Without sounding like a marketing campaign, if you are thinking of a career change that will change your life and the life of every child that comes into your home, pick up your phone and call By the Bridge!
Thank you for reading.