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My journey to becoming a foster carer - Gareth De Torres

Gareth Webp
In May, Gareth de Torres and his wife Zena will be celebrating four years as approved Calon Cymru foster carers. Throughout their fostering career, they have provided fostering placements for some of the most vulnerable children in South Wales and are currently looking after a sibling group of 2.


Gareth began his career in the RAF, before a long career in the corporate world, ultimately leaving him wanting something more fulfilling.


“I was in the armed forces for nine years and then worked my way up into various senior positions in corporate companies. I spent so many hours on the road, and I felt like I wasn’t making a positive difference.”


In the autumn of 2019, after plenty of research, they decided the time was right to enquire with Calon Cymru and, shortly after, began the assessment process.


“We settled on Calon Cymru as from the start it just resonated with us. Calon is so supportive, and you immediately feel part of its culture. When we started to get the ball rolling, the team at Calon Cymru were really down to earth and everything was black and white, so it’s hard not to warm to them.”


Skills gained from Gareth's previous roles in the military and corporate world have proven to be valuable in his career as a foster carer. He can recognise behaviours and adapt to different situations while utilising his strong communication skills. Coupled with Calon Cymru's extensive training programme and ongoing support, foster carers like Gareth feel confident and well-prepared to take on the challenges of fostering.


“At Calon Cymru, you go through a fantastic training programme and if you take on board the training and utilise the communication skills and knowledge you get on a day to day basis it really does help.”


While fostering can be testing at times, Gareth and Zena both agree that the rewards far outweigh any negatives. The ability to work from home means that Gareth and Zena can focus more on being present for the children they foster, with each child being unique and rewarding in their own way.


“Yes, fostering has its challenges, but I still wake up every morning and love my job. I wouldn’t change it for the world. You are providing someone with a much better future and giving them opportunities they might not have had.”


Gareth and Zena encourage anyone thinking about fostering to enquire with Calon Cymru. Every career has transferrable skills that are relevant to fostering. With plenty of training and support available, if you have a spare room and a desire to provide a safe and loving environment, then you may be able to become a foster carer.


"If you like working with people and making a difference I would definitely look into it. Reach out to the agency and ask to speak with other foster carers. We can then explain what it is actually like and it's far more rewarding than you could ever imagine."


Fostering stories


  • Foster Carer
  • Training

Date published

08 February 2024

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