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Angela's Fostering Story

Angela, 59, and her husband, Chris, 57, based in Nottingham, have been fostering vulnerable children for seven years and in that time, they have fostered 13 children.

July 9 2021 - 5 min read

“It’s not a job, it’s a way of life!”

Angela, 59, and her husband, Chris, 57, based in Nottingham, have been fostering vulnerable children for seven years and in that time, they have fostered 13 children.

The couple are currently caring for three children, one nine-year-old boy, who has been with them for three years and two sibling girls aged 12 and 13, who have been with the couple since April 2021.

Angela has always loved working with children, right from a young age, as she explains; “In between having my own three children, I was a childminder for 14 years. I loved being at home with my own whilst looking after other children, so our house was always full and that’s how we liked it!”

She added: “Our children grew up and left home a few years ago and the place just felt empty which is when we thought: “Well, what do we do now?”

Angela explains: “It was something I’d been thinking about for quite some time, especially as most of my career has been spent childminding young children. I decided to go out and get a job which I simply didn’t enjoy, and it was then that I started to mention to my husband my desire to foster vulnerable children. By that point, I had done quite a lot of research into fostering and discovered that we had the space, we had a nice house and we both loved children, so we just said, “we can do this, we can give children a loving and stable home and ultimately a better life!”

Angela explains that her support network is a huge part of their journey; “My husband is now a full-time foster parent after leaving his job of 24 years in April to join me, which is great! We have a friend of ours who is also part of our main support network, as well as my daughter and son-in-law and my own parents as well.”

Angela continues; “When I first told some friends that I was going to become a foster parent, I think they thought I was absolutely mad! People assume that when your own children leave home, you get your ‘freedom’ back and you focus on yourself, but for us personally, we are family orientated, child focussed people, and this was just a natural step for us as a family unit.”

Welcoming foster children into their family home has made a huge difference to the Newton’s family life, as Angela explains; “Our family is bigger and happier! Our children are now grown up and they see our foster children and they love it. Even the four older children that we fostered who have moved on still come and visit us for Christmas, Birthdays, BBQ’s, trips out and for Sunday dinner which is amazing.

Fostering can sometimes be challenging, as Angela reveals; “For us, I think the most challenging part is managing some of the difficult behaviour patterns of the children. The young boy we have now who is nine years old has quite extreme aggression outbursts, which are quite violent and upsetting to see, so the hardest thing for us has been handling a young boy with lots of complex needs like this.”

“He has now been with us for three years and we are still working through some of those negative behaviours, which of course is hard sometimes, however, we are fully supported by our social worker and Fostering People who are there for us 24/7, whenever we need it. We get through it, we calm down and stick to the training and everyone has a big hug after, it’s all about working as a team.”

However, there have been many rewarding elements to fostering for Angela and her family; “One standout part of fostering for us was recently finding out that an asylum seeker who was previously in our care for a couple of years has now got his own place and is planning to start his new educational journey at University this September. Watching him grow from a young man who spoke very little English and was very anxious and frightened, to now as a young independent professional with his own place, is just incredible!”

“Watching these children who came to us expecting nothing out of life, grow into young people who are happy, healthy and achieving is so rewarding for us!”

Angela believes that Fostering People have helped them significantly throughout their journey: “Once we were approved as foster parents, it was just an amazing, rewarding feeling. Although at first the initial process is fairly intrusive, it is therapeutic in a way! With Fostering People’s support, it took around six months from start to finish for us, which is great. We have referred two people on who have recently started fostering with Fostering People, we think they are amazing and so supportive!”

For those considering fostering, Angela has this piece of advice; “Be prepared for your life to change! You will gain so many new friends and connections in the fostering community which is amazing. It’s not a job, it’s a way of life! There will be ups and downs but it’s the moments where your heart swells through pride and happiness because of the foster children that make it all worth it.”

If you have a spare room and would like to know more about short term fostering or how to become a foster parent, please give us a call on 0800 077 8159 today. 

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