Helen’s story

Archived: Posted April 25, 2016

Helen WarrenHelen Warren has always been passionate about working with children and spent 17 years as a nanny. This year, she is marking 15 years as a foster carer with Foster Care Associates and will be taking a trip to Buckingham Palace after receiving the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her unwavering commitment to fundraising in schools. Here she talks about how fostering has enriched her life.

“I’ve always wanted to work with children, but when clients required a nanny to clean rather than focus on the children I decided to look elsewhere. A friend was fostering with Foster Care Associates and she told me how supportive they were to carers, so my husband and I started to think seriously about fostering. Our two sons were young at the time but we talked about it with them and for the first eight weeks we took respite placements to show them what it was like and ensure they were comfortable. Well, we got the fostering bug! As a family we’ve never looked back and I feel we foster as a team – I couldn’t do it without them.

“Over the years we’ve looked after 22 children on a range of long and short term placements and you do have to get used to the changing dynamics of your family as one placement leaves and another arrives. It can be an emotional roller coaster, but where do you start with listing the rewards? There are so many and they are found in every day little things as you start to see the children feel comfortable in your home and begin to open up and make progress.

“The FCA training has been absolutely fantastic. It’s invaluable and ensures a situation that could become a crisis is just a challenge you are able to manage. I couldn’t find a single fault with Foster Care Associates. You get so used to your social worker they become part of the family. When you pop into the local office everyone knows you and they are so friendly and welcoming. As well as the training, the support you get from events like the carers breakfasts where you can chat with other families is just great.

There is such an overlap between the roles I’ve taken on in schools as a volunteer, lunchtime supervisor and parent governor, and with being a foster carer. I’ve learned so much by being within a school environment and become more confident and I think it’s made me a better carer. Over the years I’ve watched how the teachers interact with the children and tried to apply little bits to the work I do with the children at home.

“To anyone who is thinking about fostering, especially those who already work with children, I would say it can be a bit of an obstacle course at times, but if you all work together as a team you will succeed. When I look back on what we’ve achieved as a couple and as a family, it’s immense! We’re constantly learning because of the young people in our care and I wouldn’t swap my job for anything.”

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