Jane and Mark's fostering story
How we became foster carers
Jane and her husband Mark applied to foster for Barnet in 2007 and have been fostering since.
They have cared for more than 16 children between the ages of 0 and 18 years.
"Growing up, my parents fostered and living in a fostering household, made me want to do it too.
The timing felt right for me when the company I was working for were offering voluntary redundancy, so I took it and used the opportunity to begin fostering."
Why we chose Barnet fostering
"We decided to apply to Barnet as we lived in the borough and had positive, proactive interactions and experiences working with their recruitment team from the very beginning.
It is also great as we are local to the schools, training and contact centres."
Our assessment process
"The assessment process was 10 months start to finish.
We had a nice assessing social worker who got to know us very well during what was a thorough, in-depth and at times quite an intrusive assessment process.
I understood why it had to be this way, but it was difficult at times, as we spoke a lot about everything. Things you wouldn’t usually talk about with people, but we saw it through and have since enjoyed 12 years of fostering amazing children."
How we prepared for the child
"Receiving the news that a child had been identified for us for the first time was very exciting (and is to this day), but also had mixed feelings of sadness knowing a child has been separated from their family.
We like to prepare the bedroom in advance for the age/gender of the child. We change posters and bedding making it as welcoming as possible, and get in any treats we think they might like."
The challenges we faced
"We had a sibling group, aged 1 and 3 for our first placement who used to run and hide under the bed when my husband came into the room. We had to be very patient and make them feel as comfortable as possible, until they felt safe.
We also had to consider our birth children’s feelings to ensure they were supported and comfortable with fostering and sharing their parents."
Support we received
"The training has been brilliant. BAFCA and Support groups have been good too.
We have a good relationship with our supervising social worker. Any time we have had an issue we have been able to ring up Barnet and this has been resolved."
The most enjoyable part of fostering for us
"The best thing about fostering is knowing that you have made a difference. It is about being a stop gap between things not going very well and helping them move towards something better.
It has been lovely seeing children go home or on to be adopted. With our current foster child, watching him grow up, we know that we are guiding him the best we can.
Our birth children have benefitted too, what they have shared they have also very much gained. They are a lot more appreciative of what they have had growing up, having worked in an office job for 18 years I feel much more fulfilled."
Other foster carer's stories
Check out the Barnet Foster Care Fortnight 2021 video to learn about other foster carer's experiences.