Gail and Ray’s story

Archived: Posted April 25, 2016

“He said ‘I’m home’ which makes our choice to foster all worthwhile”

Gail and Ray Griffiths from Tettenhall in Wolverhampton have been foster carers with Foster Care Associates (FCA) since 2004. Gail talks about the positive impact fostering has had on their lives:

She said: “Ray previously worked fulltime for BT, and I worked part-time in a newsagents, but once our own children had grown-up and left home we had the opportunity to re-evaluate our lives. We had a spare room, and more time on our hands, so we decided to look into fostering.

“When people find out that we’re foster carers, most show really positive attitudes towards us for doing it. Some say they have thought about it, and others can’t understand how we can be so resilient and do it, but generally everyone we meet is really supportive.”

Gail and Ray Griffiths, foster carers from Tettenhall

With a shortage of foster carers in the UK to look after children and young people with complex needs, Gail and Ray decided to specialise in this area. They have welcomed many children and young people into their home who require specialist care. Gail continues: “We mostly work with children with extra special needs – such as spina bifida, autism, severe learning difficulties, and also sanctuary-seeking children and young people.

“Getting the right match is important but you don’t really know how things will work out at the beginning as each young person has their own needs and issues. Getting the right school for them if they move from a different area is also really important.”

The support services provided by FCA have been invaluable to Gail and Ray. Gail said: “In the past we have found the respite breaks provided by FCA a real advantage for when we have needed it. It is also good to have an FCA social worker that we know will support us. We previously fostered through local authorities but they have so many caseloads that you can’t always contact them when needed.

“FCA have always provided extra support whenever we felt we need it, plus training and support groups make you feel you are part of a team.

“Fostering is hard work at times, but it is gratifying to know we have given children and young people in need stability, and helped to fill the gap in meeting some of their needs. We find it very rewarding, especially when the young people who were in our care come back to visit us of their own accord.”

When asked to choose their best fostering moment Gail said: “A young person came to stay with us from a different area for four weeks in the summer holidays. He was then moved back to his original area and was found long term carers. Unfortunately this relationship broke down and he asked if he could come back to us. We were asked if we would take him back which we were of course delighted to – the first thing he said to us when he came back was ‘I’m home’. This gave us such a thrill and makes our choice to foster all worthwhile.”

Offering advice to those interested in becoming a foster carer, Gail said: “Talk it over with family and friends, and don’t go into fostering with rose tinted glasses – it’s hard and demanding but it’s good to make use of the support you will get from FCA, and also don’t be afraid to ask other carers for their help and advice.”

How can we help?

Ready to start fostering a child or young person? Or just want a bit more information to help you decide whether fostering is for you? All you need to do is contact us.

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

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

Share This With A Friend