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Mike and Alison

Mike and Alison’s Story

Mike and Alison had both previous spent a lot of time around children in their personal and professional lives before they decided to foster. Mike, a former policeman, had been coaching young people how to play golf for over ten years, while Alison had been working as a children’s party organiser. With Mike’s daughter from a previous marriage now in her twenties, the pair decided they wanted to offer their support to other children who needed their help.

“Our lives had changed so we sat down one day to talk about where we were going and thought it would be nice to have some children around”

Becoming foster carers

Mike and Alison contacted Perpetual to talk through the process and, after deciding fostering was right for them, they quickly moved on to the assessment period. Mike claims, although the process took several months, it helped him prepare for being a foster carer. “We had a few doubts but they were quickly resolved in the initial interviews.

“The assessment does pull your life apart a bit as they look at you, your family and your relationships but it also makes you think about your motivations for doing it and whether you think you can foster successfully,” Mike added.

The outcomes

Approved as foster carers three years ago, Mike and Alison have now completed two successful placements.

Although they were very different with their own challenges, both found the experience extremely rewarding.

Mike said: “Our first placement did have some behaviour issues when she first came to us – she was very independent and didn’t want to be helped. However, over the time she spent with us her attitude changed and she really improved. She later sent us a message acknowledging our contribution and it almost brought a tear to my eye.”

He added: “Our second placement was very shy and quiet but we helped her with a few things like her college application and taught her how to cook. She eventually came out of herself a bit more. She wanted to cook for everyone and not just let other people do things for her. It really made us feel proud.”

Support

Although Mike and Alison experienced some challenges, they say that shouldn’t stop anyone for becoming a foster carer. With social workers available any time of day or night, the pair always felt supported and able to handle any issues they were confronted with.

Mike said: “The initial experiences we had could have put us off but the support we received was such that it made it easy for us. It is not like you are given a child and abandoned. The help is there, you just have to ask somebody. And if you do, it can be a hugely rewarding experience.”

He adds: “With Perpetual Fostering we felt part of the community from the outset. It was never them and us but we were together as a team. From my experience that is a big thing. If ever there is an issue we can pick up the phone and they will be there and they will be helpful.”

Explore Our Fostering Resources

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This easy-to-read guide explains what's involved in becoming a foster carer, from the first chat through to getting your first placement.


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During your lunch break, or the time you spend checking Facebook, another child will come into care. Right now, that child is thinking: 'Who cares?' You can change their life by saying: 'I care.'

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