Lynn & Mike

from St Helens

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Lynn Hurley and husband, Mike, have been fostering carers with Fostering Solutions since 2011. Lynn decided it was time for a change from her everyday job and after watching an old colleague foster for over 10 years she decided to take the first step.

Lynn said: “Mike and I have raised five children between us, Mike has three children and I have two sons all aged between 31 and 25. At one point we had five teenagers in the house, looking back it wasn’t as bad as everyone may think. They all got on really well and everyone respected each other’s space. Raising a big family and doing it so well was one reason we thought we’d make good foster parents, plus, we’re not your normal run of the mill 2.4 family.

“Our first placement was quite scary; we had a 12 year old girl placed with us for nine months. There were some issues but everything was resolved and we’re still in touch now. She’ll message me saying how grateful she is and that she can’t thank us enough for being there for her.

“My youngest son, 25, is still living at home with us along with our two foster daughters, 14 and 12. Our eldest foster daughter has been with us for nearly five years. We’ve seen so many changes over the years, when she first came into our care she was shy and had no self-confidence. She’d find socialising and making friends hard as she was so angry and she’d fight everyone and push them away.

“She’s so different now; she’s full of confidence and a real advocate for foster care. If you ask her about foster care she’d tell you it’s the best thing to happen to her. She has people at school who are about to go into care come and ask her about it. She’s involved with youth councils and youth groups; she’s like a completely different teenager.

“The training provided by Fostering Solutions is great; I attend as much as I can to make sure I’m up to date with everything. The training has definitely improved over the last few years too. The only thing I would say is that you can do all the training in the world but the one thing nobody can describe to you is the feeling you get when you get your first placement. It’s scary inviting a stranger to live in your house, sit at a table and eat with you. Nobody can prepare you for that but after the first day it all starts getting easier and it’s so worth it.

“To those thinking of fostering I’d say you have to ride the storm, it can have its ups and downs but it’s all worth it. When you sit down at night and the last child has gone to bed, showered, fed and happy, you get a warm feeling inside. You know you’ve done something great and made a real difference to a child’s life.”

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