Sharon & Terry

from Bury


Sharon and Terry Wilson, from Bury, went into fostering with no previous experience with looked after children or the Care system. They didn’t know anyone who’d fostered so it was a completely new experience for them.

Sharon said: “We’d spoke about fostering for years, we’d say we would do it or look into it but just didn’t get round to it. It wasn’t until we were watching a high profile kidnapping case on the news that something came over me. I wondered what’d happen to the other children in the family if the parents went to prison and that was it, it brought so many emotions that I knew we had to help children like those.

“It was a few days later when a local magazine came through the door with an advertisement for Fostering Solutions, it was like fate. I just took the plunge and called them. I felt nervous making the initial phone call, but felt reassured following a visit from an experienced social worker, who then guided us through the fostering procedure. Within a short period of time, we were attending our first training course and preparing for our first placement.

“Our first placement was a 14 year old North Korean girl who spoke very limited English. We were patient and enthusiastic, and helped her in every way we could. When the time came for her to move, she decided she wanted to live in Liverpool and went onto study at Liverpool University. We’re so proud of her. We had some challenging times especially with the language barrier and differences in culture, but we embraced these differences and we loved every minute of it, as we were learning with her too.

“My most poignant memory of her was from Mother’s Day, after she moved. A parcel arrived all wrapped up for me. It was so thoughtful and really made me feel special. Then it happened again at Christmas the same year, she sent presents for everyone, including the dog. I was so overwhelmed that she still thought about us. We reconnected on social media after that and it made me realise just how much she valued us.

“We also keep in touch with our last placement. We were placed with a teenage girl who had shown some challenging behaviour but after a few years in our care she went on to independent living and now is a lovely mum herself. She called round recently and invited us to her baby’s christening. She didn’t have to do that but to know that she’s included us in her celebrations is so warming – it makes it even more worthwhile.

“We spoke about fostering for too long before actually making the call. It’s still the best thing we’ve done. We love it, yes it’s challenging at times and we certainly couldn’t do it without support from our daughter Grace and Fostering Solutions. Even with no previous experience we’ve still managed to make a positive difference to children’s lives.

“My advice, don’t sit and talk about it for too long, have courage, make that first phone call and just take it from there. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained!”

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