Angie and Andre’s story

Archived: Posted April 25, 2016

Andre and AngieAndre and Angie Savchenko have built their lives around caring for young people both as foster carers with Foster Care Associates and in their respective careers as a head teacher and classroom assistant. The couple have fostered with FCA for the past 10 years and really value the support of their social worker. Here, they talk about their 21 years of experience as carers and why teaching and fostering go hand in hand:

“My aunty was a foster carer and when I met two teenage girls in her care, I was struck by the need for people to care for older children who are more difficult to place in adoptive families. I decided there and then to do something about it and, at the age of 29, I gave up my job at the Inland Revenue to become a full time foster carer,” explains Angie.

“My husband Andre was really supportive and was training to become a secondary school teacher at the time, so we were both embarking on a new chapter focussed on caring for teenagers. We didn’t have our own children then, so we became parents to a teenage boy, our first placement, overnight and we’re still in touch with him today. It is hard work, but it is so much a part of our lives and if we had our time over again we would foster. It is important that foster care providers value their carers and we appreciate the support we receive from our FCA social worker.”

Four years ago Angie became a classroom assistant, alongside being a foster carer, and now works with Andre who is head teacher at one of the top 10 special schools in the country. The Shropshire-based pupil referral unit supports young people with behavioural, neurological and mental health needs.

Andre believes his experience as a teacher has benefitted his role as a carer and vice versa: “We started fostering at the same time as I qualified as a teacher, so for me the two roles have always gone hand in hand with the experience from each role helping me to be better at the other. This was reinforced when I moved to my current school, because there are a significant proportion of looked after children in pupil referral units.”

The same is true for Angie as she explains: “the training I do as a teaching assistant and the interaction with so many young people helps me to be a better foster carer. Similarly, I have recently been on an FCA course about understanding attachment and this helps me to respond to the behaviour from pupils at school in an effective way.”

For Angie and Andre the rewards of fostering come when you see the progress that a child has made. “One Christmas we received a message from a young man who had been in our care eight years previously. He thanked us for everything we had done and told us he was doing well. For him to open up in that way was huge and we were so touched,” explains Angie.

Andre adds: “Having fostered for such a long time, we believe the most significant rewards to be when you meet up with the children you have fostered years later and find them to be happy and fulfilled. To anyone who is new to caring or is thinking about fostering, my advice would be to remember that the children are young vulnerable people who need care and support. It’s the most natural thing in the world to care for another person, so I’d say trust your instincts and go for it.”

Angie echoes this sentiment: “I’m so frustrated when people say to me that they’ve always wanted to foster. I just want to shout “well go on then!” because we desperately need more foster carers.”

If you’ve been thinking about becoming a foster carer, why not talk it through with one of our friendly fostering advisors? We’ll be happy to give you more information about what’s involved, without you being under any obligation to start the process towards being a foster carer. For an informal chat, please get in touch with us online or on the phone.

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Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we're here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors, many of whom are carers themselves, can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

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Phone us

Call us on 0800 023 4561 (lines open Monday - Thurs: 9am - 7pm, Fri: 9am - 6pm)

Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we,re here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors, many of whom are carers themselves, can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call me back

Haven't got time to chat now? Leave your details and we'll call you back at a time that suits you:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Why do we need this? So we can email you a brochure.
  • Why do we need this? We appreciate that starting to foster is a big decision that needs careful consideration and you are likely to have questions. We’d like to help answer those questions.
  • Please enter your postcode to see news and events in you area
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