Experience The Rewards of Fostering.....

Fostering attracts carers from all walks of life from a variety of professions.

Have you thought of Fostering?

We profile two succesfful Foster families who provide a first hand account.

Susan Goodchild has been approved as a foster carer for Rainbow Fostering Services Ltd in May 2005 and has looked after 5 children during this time. The youngest child was 6 and the eldest young person come to her at 15 and left at 18 to move into a semi independent flat. Susan is always actively involved in Rainbow Fostering activities and events and this year she helped organize a barbecue for children, young people and their carers. She has received two Foster Carer Awards for her outstanding contribution to fostering for Rainbow.

Susan's motivation to become a foster carer came from a friend at school who was brought up in a children's home and missed a family life. As a manager in a previous job, she also enjoyed training and guiding young people when they applied for work experience. Taking all these factors into consideration and once Susan had a spare bedroom available she decided to become a foster carer to support young people to develop self confidence and independence, to reach their full potential, to encourage them in their life skills and education. Seeing the progress they make gives Susan an incredible buzz. The fun they bring to the home, the smiles and laughter are the most rewarding things about fostering for her.

She has faced some challenges when foster children first come into care as they initially find it difficult to accept boundaries and can be quite challenging in regards to being home on time and regular attendance at school. Once they realize these boundaries are put in place because you care for them, they settle down. Susan confirmed that most parents work with you knowing you are doing your best for their child and support the foster carer.

Susan said that Rainbow Fostering are always very welcoming and supports her by being there 24/7. She appreciates the fact that there is always someone she can call for advice and she has a good relationship with her link worker.

Susan stated that Rainbow offers training to let her grow and she has recently completed the NVQ3 course in Caring for Children and Young People. She is also pleased with the Saturday school run by Rainbow to help children struggling with their school work and a support group organized every six weeks where foster carers can learn about new legislations and share their experiences.

For Susan fostering is like having a large extended family. She enjoys the Christmas parties, Awards Ceremony for Children and BBQs. She has made many new friends since joining Rainbow from all multicultural backgrounds.

Susan would definitely encourage people to become foster carers. She said: 'The warm glow it gives you and the rewards of fostering far out way the challenges. That little smile from a child touches your heart and you know you have made a difference.'

If you are interested in fostering please call Rainbow Fostering Services Ltd on:

020 8427 3355

or visit

How I got into being a Foster Carer

Alan and Sue's Story.

It really started when I was made redundant. After nearly 10 years in the same job it came out of the blue and I left the factory I was working at, never to go back. We had two boys 11 & 13 at the time and I did the usual things of a bit of football coaching and had recently started helping out with the Scouts. Sue had done some childminding when the boys were small but now had a part time job in the local supermarket.

Coming out of the Job Centre one day I saw this advert on the back of a bus which said 'Have you thought of becoming a Foster Carer?' Well no I hadn't, but it got me thinking. We looked around at all sorts of organisations including the local authority, the voluntary and private sector but one company stood out, Orange Grove Fostercare.'

'They couldn't have been more helpful and even though they are a national company they had an office quite near to where we live. We initially met one of their social workers and very soon we were invited to go along to a 'skills to foster' course which proved to be a real eye opener. We found out about the type of children we could expect to foster and how children would only be placed with us if their needs and our family situation matched, but it helped Sue and I decide that this was a good decision. We went through the assessment process and 6 months later we were approved as Foster Carers.

We started out doing some respite care over weekends and for the odd week, but very quickly a 12 year old boy needed fostering and he came to live with us. Since then we have fostered 6 children and Sue and I are now both full time Foster Carers.

We have the usual ups and downs that all families have but to see a young person's confidence and self esteem grow, to watch them experience and try new things and enjoy family life makes a big difference to our lives too.'

If anyone in interested in becoming a Foster Carer, please contact Orange Grove Fostercare in the first instance on:

08450 545088

or visit:


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