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Deborah and Brian’s story

Deborah and Brian Butler from North Wales have been fostering with FCA for over 11 years.

We absolutely love our job and the rewards it brings as every day is different and each child takes us on a different journey.

Caring for others comes naturally to the couple as they helped to raise their grandchild for long periods of time when their daughter moved away to Carlisle after having a baby at the age of 18. Deborah also has experience working very closely with the elderly but was determined to go one step further and help to change the lives of vulnerable children and young people.

Talking about her fostering journey and the impact it has had upon her family’s life, Deborah said: “As my husband grew up without a family of his own, we were both keen to become foster carers and open our homes and hearts to those who need it most.

“At first some of our friends were dubious, but those close to us thought we have the patience and the right temperament to make great foster carers. Our children also had mixed feelings in the beginning but now they are proud of what we have achieved and the progressive steps that our foster children have made

“Since becoming foster carers, we’ve found that not everyone is supportive or understands the decision to foster and the unique circumstances experienced by each child. However, the help we receive from other fostering professionals and carers is excellent.

“We absolutely love our job and the rewards it brings as every day is different and each child takes us on a different journey. Despite this, we couldn’t go it alone and would be lost without the help of FCA. We have access to all the support we need, from regular training opportunities to having our own mentor to walk alongside us every step of the way, offering techniques and advice. We love our foster care network and enjoy getting involved in the various activities with other like-minded carers in the same position.”

Although Deborah and Brian are quick to encourage others to become foster carers, they also recognise that fostering is not without challenges.

Deborah continued: “We look after up to three children at a time which can be difficult as the placements range from long-term to emergency, respite and short-term. Although a lot of the children we have are older and come with their own challenges, it’s important for them to know that we are there to walk alongside them rather than to act as an authoritative figure.

“Every day brings its own memorable moments of success, such as when our previous foster child finally settled at school and won an award at the end of the year celebrating her progression.

“For us, fostering ticks every box and we can’t promote it enough to others; we’ve even persuaded two close friends to enrol as foster carers.’’

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