Jill and Stephen’s story

Archived: Posted April 25, 2016

“Each day brings new challenges, fun and rewards. We should have done it years ago”

Jill and Stephen Bartlett, from Halstead in Essex, have been foster carers with Foster Care Associates (FCA) for six years following successful careers as a property lawyer and estate agent respectively. Stephen talks about their decision to become foster carers and the positive impact it has had on their lives.

He said: “We had a friend of our son live with us since he was 15 – he’s now 35 and still comes back every other weekend – so we’ve always had the nurturing instinct and love the company of young people.  Jill was made redundant which made us re-evaluate our situation. We’d seen FCA advertising for people to become foster carers and we felt we could do it.

“After talking to many fostering agencies it was FCA’s child-centred approach and the support services available to carers that convinced us that they were the right fostering agency for us. We talked it through with friends and family who reacted positively and said that they thought we would be great at it.

“FCA place a lot of focus matching the child or young person to the right foster family. We have been very lucky – our first placement was a great match and is still with us after six years.”

FCA foster carers, Stephen and Jill Bartlett

Although rewarding, Stephen is quick to point out the challenges involved in becoming a foster carer. He said: “Of course foster care has its challenges, and you should never go into it with rose tinted glasses – you need to able to keep calm and not let the children or young people in your care push your buttons. The ability to see the bigger picture is important to keep them on the right track, but it’s always good to know that we’ve got the support of the FCA social worker whenever we need it, coupled with great training provisions.”

Summing up Jill and Stephen’s decision to foster, Stephen said: “Fostering is the best thing we’ve ever done – we should have done it years ago. Each day brings new challenges, fun and rewards, like seeing the children achieve things they never thought were possible. We wouldn’t change a thing!”

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.

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

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