Jason and Nikki's story
Changing careers to become a foster carer
Husband and wife team, Jason and Nikki have been foster carers since 2010. They have 2 birth children of their own and are short term foster parents for kids who come into care and need a short-term solution to domestic or parental issues.
Jason and Nikki - foster carers
I don’t always think of what we do as a job, but it is and as such we received excellent training and still get fantastic ongoing support from all the professionals and agencies we work with.
“It was Nikki who had the idea of being a foster family. She’d always worked in childcare and wanted to still have a job looking after children after our own were born. We talked it over and decided that I’d leave my job in HR and we’d both become full-time foster carers. Doing it together worked for us, but of course you can also foster as a single person or a couple where one person is the key foster carer and the other has a different main job. It was a complete career change for me, but I’ve never looked back.
Having foster children in your home is not that different to having your own children. We’ve tended to foster older children as we felt it was something we could do and there's a huge need for families to look after these kids. These older children bring so much into foster carers’ lives and we’ve found it to be incredibly fulfilling. We might not be changing nappies or running about in the park with them, but these children, like all kids, need to have a stable home, family life and someone to engage with to help them fulfill their potential. A lot of these kids are more vulnerable and their behaviour can be challenging, but they need to know that someone will stick by them whatever they do. They need nurturing and to be shown love and understanding. It’s wonderful to be able to help young people transform their lives and guide them to make their own positive choices so that they can head towards achieving their ambitions in later life.
When we started, our only real concern was for our own children as we thought they might find it difficult to deal with being part of a foster family and having to share our attention. However, we were reassured that our children would play a vital part in the fostering process and I honestly think they’ve been fantastic and helped the children we foster feel part of a ‘normal’ family. It’s been fun for our children too. They always attend the Sons and Daughters events organised by the council's fostering service and Christmas party which has helped them to develop friendships with birth children from other foster carer families.
Over these last months, like everyone, we’ve had to adjust and work within new constraints due to the Covid pandemic. This year has been difficult for everyone, but particularly rewarding for us knowing we’ve been able to give our foster children a happy home during a hard time. Seeing them laugh and smile, knowing we’ve contributed to their happiness, is amazing.”
Did you know?
There's no upper age limit for foster carers. As long are you're fit and healthy, you can apply.
Many children and young people in care will have experienced difficulties at home and will benefit from guidance and support from foster carers.