from Cheshire

Steve-Mountford-Fostering-Solutions-USE-resized-672x372.jpgFostering is now a total way of life for me

Steve (49) from Nantwich in Cheshire has been a single male carer with Fostering Solutions for five years. Although he wasn’t sure if he could be a foster carer as a single man, Steve is now approved for a range of foster care, from parent and child and emergency to respite and long term. He currently has teenage sisters who have been with him for just over two years now.

Steve said: “Even though it sounds clichéd, fostering was something which had always appealed to me and I’ve always wanted to do it. I didn’t have a particularly happy upbringing and having spent some time working at a children’s home, I thought this was the perfect way for me to try and make a difference.

“For two years I’ve had teenage sisters staying with me who are now very settled. They are aged 15 and 17 and say they never want to leave! In fact the eldest one is on the staying put scheme as they decided they want to stay together for as long as possible.

“I have two grown up children of my own so have become a foster carer as a single man. At first I thought this could potentially prove to be a stumbling block, but I was determined to be a foster parent as I love children. I was given all the necessary reassurance and support from Fostering Solutions, so being a single male carer wasn’t even an issue. I had all the right credentials and willingness to do it and nothing was ever going to get in my way!

“My experience of the training and support from Fostering Solutions has been that it’s always second-to-none. Even if you want specific training in an area that isn’t immediately available, the team will sort this out and enrol you on a programme or provide bespoke advice, which is always outstanding.

“I particularly enjoy the monthly group sessions with other carers from my neck of the woods. I find these very worthwhile and it’s always good to see how other carers are doing things. Sharing knowledge and expertise is important to me.

“Fostering is now a total way of life for me. I ran a haulage firm for many years so life couldn’t be any more different than it is now. My life revolves around my foster children and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I do find time to do the things in life I want to do and I’d say this is important for any carer. I like to build and race cars and I still enjoy this as a hobby when I’ve got time. I also do a day a week at the YMCA in Crewe teaching car mechanics to 16-30 year old hard to reach children and adults. This fits in perfectly with my fostering and I love doing it as it’s passing on valuable life skills which may help others.

“I get a great feeling of satisfaction from fostering with Fostering Solutions. The way I see it, I’m just extending my family and the rewards are huge. Seeing the transition from when a child first comes into your care and when they leave is remarkable. The feeling of pride is overwhelming sometimes. On the downside though, I do find it hard when they move on, but I have the knowledge that I’ve done my best to help get them where they need to be in life and that’s good enough for me.”

“I think anyone can be a foster carer with the right training and support, which I’ve certainly had from Fostering Solutions. It doesn’t matter in the slightest if you’re single. It never made any difference to me at all and still doesn’t. All you need is a kind heart and a willingness to succeed.”

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