There are many children in our local area in need of a safe and loving home and foster parents provide just that. They make an incredible difference to vulnerable children, offering stability in times of crisis, teaching life skills and helping to build self-esteem. Their impact often lasts a lifetime.
Slough Children’s Services Trust works with a number of fantastic foster parents but there is a real need for more people to come forward.
Teena Wilcock is part of the fostering team at the Trust:
“We often find people want to foster but think for some reason, like their background or situation, that they can’t do it. There are many misconceptions around fostering but things like marital status, sexuality, age etc are not barriers at all. The other thing that people often don’t realise is that foster carers are paid for the amazing work they do, are given full training and receive support. We encourage anyone who’s interested to please find out more.”
Five minutes with one of our foster carers…
Mandy Foley is a 47-year-old single mum from Cippenham. Before becoming a foster parent, she’d worked in accounts, for a nursery and was also a childminder.
Why did you choose to foster?
I always wanted more children but was only blessed with one son. I didn’t realise I could foster as a single parent until I bumped into an old school friend who was fostering. After that I was on the next prep group! I converted my garage into an extra bedroom and my then 11 year-old son moved downstairs into the new bedroom, leaving me with a spare room upstairs ready to foster.
The best thing about fostering?
Watching children blossom and be able to enjoy their childhoods again.
Tell us more about your fostering experience…
I’ve fostered 17 children over eight years, with placements ranging from one night to more than two years. I’ve cared for new-born babies, sibling groups and a few older children. Every ending brings mixed emotions – it can be really hard but we are always pleased for the children when they find happiness in a forever home.
How has your son reacted to being part of a fostering family?
He thinks of the children as his siblings. Each one has brought a different dynamic to our house but all of them have brought us joy.
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
Fostering is a job that makes you feel proud, it’s a real privilege to be a small part of these children’s lives. It truly makes our day as carers to receive a photo or a text with news of how a child we have moved on is doing.
Could you be an amazing foster parent? Register your details using the form below and one of our friendly advisors will be in touch.