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Age is no barrier, fostering is my life and I love it

81 year old Pamela Cave is our oldest foster parent and has been with FCA North East since 2003. Read her fostering story.

October 6 2020 - 4 min read

It was back in 1985 whilst hoovering Pamela caught glimpse of the TV where there was an interview about fostering and at the end there was the caption ‘Could you foster?’ and Pamela thought to herself yes she could. Although she had six children of her own, her youngest twins were 15 years old and she just knew the time was right.

Pamela first came to FCA after speaking to an FCA social worker who told her about the variety of activities on offer for the children to participate in.  FCAs child orientated focus was a feature Pamela really liked and decided this was the fostering agency for her and her family.
On support from FCA Pamela answered “It’s reassuring to know there is always a supervising social worker at the end of the phone.  There are plenty of events for the children, where they can meet other children and make friends.  The carer support groups are a good social event too, the last one I attended we had a picnic in the park with other foster parents and their families too it was great fun”.

Speaking about her best and most challenging fostering moments Pamela said “One challenge I faced as a foster parent was with a young person who lived with me and often didn’t come back home at night as she wanted to stay with her boyfriend.  So each time she didn’t come home I had to call the Police and social worker.   The Police would find her and bring her back.  Staying awake all night to resolve was exhausting, but putting boundaries in place with your young people can be a help.

My best fostering moment was with three girls I was fostering when I lived on the farm.  I went through the whole adoption process with them, supported meeting their new parents and explained to the girls what was happening helping to prepare them for their new life.  I took the girls to say goodbye to their birth mother and unsure of their reaction I said to the girls we would go for a burger after.  The girls were absolutely fine saying goodbye to their birth mother and managed it far better than I imagined, which just shows how resilient children really are.

Although I didn’t keep in touch with the three girls after they had gone, I knew I had given them the best start for a good life with their new family”.
Pamela’s advice to anyone thinking about becoming a foster parent “fostering is a commitment, have boundaries and household rules in place but also be flexible. Talk to the children and young people who come to live with you, it’s so important to take time to learn about them as individuals including their likes and dislikes.


Now with six grown up adult children, 20 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren Pamela does have a very busy life but still has the time to foster. “Fostering is by far the best thing I have ever done, you get so much back. 

Fostering is my life and I love it. Is age an issue? Absolutely not there is a lot left in me and at 81 I have no plans to stop anytime soon”.

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