We often find that people come to us after a recommendation from a friend or relative, and Colin and his wife Nicole did just that. They have been fostering with Calon Cymru for 8 years, after their daughter recommended the agency to them. As Colin puts it “Our daughter had done the hard work of comparing the different agencies and decided on Calon Cymru so she recommended them to us”.
The couple ran two property companies before turning their hands to fostering, and have been able to keep one running alongside their new role.
Colin described the assessment process, which took several months:
“The process of assessment can be quite stressful and intrusive, but this is obviously essential to ensure that you will be suitable for foster caring. It helps that Calon Cymru operate a ‘Buddy’ scheme, that provides independent help and advice from an existing foster carer.”
Now approved, they recognise the challenge of slowly undoing the harm that has been done to their foster children before being taken into care, with Colin saying, “It seems to be a case of two steps forward and one step back sometimes.”
It’s a role that requires perseverance, but definitely comes with rewards, “This is an on-going process, but with the help of continuous training and patience we have made significant progress. The training and support that you get will help you to meet the day to day problems that can arise, and the job satisfaction is great when you can see the results of your efforts.”
Colin says he often speaks to people that say they would love to foster but are reluctant to take the next step. His advice for them would be “go for it as the rewards far outweigh the negatives. You can make a difference in a child’s life (and in your own!).”