Julie and husband Dave, have been foster carer having fostered for 30 years this year! Her story is truly inspirational!
Julie says: “I decided to foster because a friend of my parents fostered children with down’s syndrome when I was a child. I knew that when I was able to, I wanted to support children in need too.
“I was born and raised in Bracknell Forest so I decided to foster for Bracknell Forest Council because I wanted to give something back to the community which has provided me with so many opportunities.
“I love that by fostering you have the ability to change children’s lives. I still remember my first placement, providing short term care to a child with a disability. I looked after a girl of 18 months for 3 weeks. Knowing that I was giving her family a break while they moved house made me feel happy that I had made the little girl’s transition to her new home much less stressful than it could have been.
“Since then, I have fostered children of all ages, from 0 to 18, and every experience has been different. All of them have been challenging in their own way and I have learned so many different things over the years it is difficult to list them all, but knowing that you have made a positive change for a young person that needs it, is hugely rewarding, and on reflection gives you a great sense of achievement.
“Fostering is not without its challenges, it is important to be flexible, as looking after more children inevitably means making life changes. But if you are thinking about it and think you could do it, my advice would be to get in touch and discuss your circumstances with the fostering team. Be realistic from the start about what you can take on and try it, you’ve got nothing to lose.”