Friday, 20 May 2011

My life as a fostered child

Earlier this week, we heard Andy Hider's incredible story. Today, we speak to one of her foster children, 19-year-old Pip, who explains what life is like to be fostered.

I’ve been in care since I was three and I’m 19 now. I used to come to Andy’s for respite when I lived with my old foster carer - and that’s how I first met her. I’ve now been here, at Andy’s, about two and a half years. When I first visited I used to say, ‘Oh I wish I lived here’ and I’m so glad that that wish has come true. Before that, I was living on my own with a foster carer and I didn’t really enjoy living there. Eventually, I had a meeting about it and the outcome was that I couldn’t stay where I was. Then Andy stepped up and said ‘Pip’s coming with me’ - she said that she wanted to continue caring for me because I’m not much trouble. It’s nice of her and I hope I don’t give her anything to worry about!

I get on really well with her birth children, so it was all quite easy. She’s very different to other foster carers – she lets me grow up and gives me space and freedom. What you’ve got to realise is that everyone is different – but with Andy it feels like a good match. She’s fostered for an awful long time so she’s got a lot of experience. She’s fostered over 80 kids! I’m so glad she didn’t decide to retire - she always says to me that everything happens for a reason.

The only downside right now is that I’m nearing the time when I have to leave Andy’s – and I’m not looking forward to that because I love it here.

I’ve got to say that I really do give credit to people that foster because it’s a very hard job. People have to realise that when you’re looking after somebody else’s child, they’ve been bought up a certain way and they may bring all their troubles with them. So if people are interested in fostering, that’s great because it is a very hard job - I wouldn’t be able to do it! You’ve got to be up for the commitment. From what I know, it’s 24/7 and you’ve got to love kids to do it. It’s a big thing, but if you want to help change someone’s life then that’s great.

For more info and advice on fostering, please visit the BAAF website. If you are considering becoming a foster carer, check out's Could You Foster? website.

You can also find a wide range of books about fostering on BAAF online bookstore.

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