Cathy and Caroline

from Oxfordshire

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“WE’VE GOT OUR FAMILY”

Cathy shares how becoming a foster carer has created a secure family for her and her foster children

When Cathy, 33 and partner Caroline, 35, decided to become foster carers six years ago, many around them thought they were too young. Now the couple, who are getting married later this year, have three girls placed with them, who will all be bridesmaids at their wedding.

Talking about the decision to become foster carers, Cathy, explained: “Caroline and I had been together for three years and knew we wouldn’t be able to have children of our own, but were certain we wanted to have a family.

“My cousin and Caroline’s aunty are both foster carers, so we had always seen the positive impact it can have on children’s lives. But when we were looking into it we were worried our age and sexuality would work against us, as well as not having any children of our own.

“We started working with Fostering Solutions as we had seen the support they had always provided to my cousin and instantly they reassured us that our worries wouldn’t be barriers to us fostering.”

The couple, who have been together for nearly nine years, currently care for a 14 year old, who was placed with them four years ago and an eight year old, who has been with them for nine months, as well as a 19 year old who has continued to live with them into adulthood.

“Like all children our three girls have had their challenges, but by creating a secure environment for them they have flourished and thrived. Our eldest has successfully completed her GCSEs, finished college and now has a full time job in a nursery – we couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Since qualifying as foster carers, Cathy has given up her job as a dance teacher to be a full time carer, while also training to become a psychotherapist and Caroline continues to work as a teacher. As well as the change in career, becoming a foster carer has had a huge impact on their day-to-day lives.

“We always have to consider the best interest of the girls, which means putting them first – but we love it and wouldn’t change that for the world – we’ve got our family.

“We have had a huge amount of support from Fostering Solutions throughout our fostering experience, from training and support to regular visits, they are always there when we need them.”

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