“We are living proof you can achieve your goals! Don’t let anything stand in your way! Follow your heart. Anchor Foster Care are now our second family.”

 

In the beginning, when we were thinking of fostering, it was hard to know who to work with. Do we go with local authority or an agency? After many phone calls and meetings with agencies, Anchor Foster Care came to visit. After we had our first meeting, all the worries and doubts were gone. We had this amazing image in our head of how we were going to help.

Then the process began. The Form F starts… hours and hours of paper work to have a deep look into our past. You even remember things you thought were long lost, your happiest memories and your worst. When you have a professional, but delightful, social worker the time flies. We were talking while eating cake and drinking tea, chatting about the good old days of being spoilt by mum and dad, playing with your brothers or sisters and taking holidays. It makes you realise what help you can give a child/children that have never had a holiday or seen mum, dad or siblings for ages. We have a lot of love to give. We have our son who is 10 (and a Pokémon fan), living full time with us, who is living evidence. He can’t wait for a play mate and he is telling all his mates. It even turned out his friend in school was going through the same process as us, so he was pleased. After the Form F and the 20 odd hours of visits comes the panel date. That was very scary, with 8 strange faces staring back at us. However, it’s a big relief after you do the introductions to find they are just normal friendly people doing an amazing job at finding the right people and the right environment for foster children. After getting a unanimous YES from panel. We left feeling emotional and amazing at the same time and we couldn’t wait to tell the rest of our family. We told everyone! It’s the best feeling; that all the hours leading up to this were worth every minute. Soon after, we received our ID badges in the post. It was a very happy morning!

Then came the first referral. We were excited and couldn’t wait to start. We said YES the same day. We had a 13-year-old transgender boy with us to begin our fostering journey. There were good days and bad days, but mainly good days. It made us think whether we had done the right thing or not, but we realised we had done the right thing and we wouldn’t change our minds.

Our first foster child wasn’t with us long. He moved on to another family closer to his friends and family. We spent Christmas alone, and in the new year, we had a 15-year-old emergency respite placement. She was with us for four days then went back to her foster family before coming back to us again for another four days. She was great. Everyone loved her. She had everyone laughing and loved our two dogs. Whilst she was still with us we also had another respite placement, a teenager of 16. She was a breath of fresh air, wanting to help with cleaning and cooking. We all got on so well. Our 10 year old had two big sisters, and he was very happy. Half way through her stay she did mention our sexuality. She couldn’t understand why we wanted to be together! She said, in her country, this is not possible, but she doesn’t mind and she is happy that we were happy. This was very nice to hear. This fun had to end when our first planned long term placement was due to arrive. Both girls departed and our 10-year-old foster boy arrived. He is also a Pokémon fan, and it was like him and our son already knew each other. We are now two weeks into our first long term placement and it’s going great.

We are living proof you can achieve your goals! Don’t let anything stand in your way! Follow your heart. Anchor Foster Care are now our second family. Thanks guys!

Sam and Jamie (Foster Carers) - Kent