After speaking to other foster carers they realised that they could do it too.

Their first foster children were brother and sister, Billy* and Jane*, and although just 10 and nine years old they’d both already had a very bad start in life.

"I think you have to believe you can make a difference, even when things go wrong. Being a bit older did not seem to be a barrier to us."

Sue, foster carer,

Fostering has certainly not been without it challenges for Sue and Howard. Quite early on into their care, Billy went missing – they searched everywhere and eventually the suspicious smell of smoke led the way. Howard says: "Upon opening Billy's cupboard there was a little boy with a beaming face puffing away on a cigarette. This was the start to our fostering career - never a dull moment!"

Howard is quick to explain though that, although challenging, fostering is also hugely rewarding. He says: “Jane had a lovely singing voice so we encouraged singing lessons. One Christmas we were gathered in a friend's house with several other families. The children were doing their party pieces. Jane sang and the house went quiet as her lovely voice came out. It truly brought tears to the eyes of a number of the adults."

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"The good memories outweigh the bad by far. Becoming a foster carer can be very fulfilling."

Howard, foster carer,

He continues: “Billy and Jane are in their early twenties now and Jane is a mother herself. Sue was her birthing partner, so we are foster grandparents!"

* Names have been changed

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