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Fostering: changing lives through care

“Being with a family who have time for me, support me and care about me has been so good. When I came to live with them I found it hard to trust people and school wasn’t important to me. But thanks to their support and being part of a caring family they helped me get over that.”

Moving words from Alison, 18, who has lived with her foster family in Hampshire for the past four years. They show what a difference fostering can make to a young person who is unable to live with their own birth family.

Children are fostered for a variety of reasons, and in most cases it is a temporary solution while their own family is supported, to enable them to return home.

Hampshire has a range of fostering opportunities – both short and longer term – and we offer a package of training and support to people interested in becoming foster carers.

Call 0845 6035620 to find out more. In the meantime read on to see why one of our many dedicated carers fosters children...

One big happy family

Foster family

Trina and Alan are very proud of their girls, all five of them, and Trina make no distinction between her two birth daughters, Hannah,19 and Bethany,11, and Tiffany, 12, Shernice, 15 and Alison, 18 whom they foster.

“Why would I? I want the best for all of them. I don’t see that I’m doing anything special here. I am just being a parent.”

Trina, who has been a foster carer for the past eight years and lives in Gosport admits that a household of six women can sometimes be lively. “They all love life so it’s not often quiet. It has its ups and downs but it’s so enjoyable. I can’t imagine not doing what I do. Though there can sometimes be a battle for the bathroom,” she laughed.

Having such a busy household isn’t easy but Trina says they make it work because they are 100% committed to ensuring all the girls have the opportunities they should. “We make one to one time for all of them. Seeing them develop and achieve things is the best reward. Hannah and Alison have university places. It’s a big step for both but for Alison it’s great to see.”

With Trina’s guidance and support Alison has thrived. Trina said she couldn’t have been a carer without the support of her own family, friends and her family placement worker.

“They have all been brilliant. Family and friends know we come as a whole bundle – the Big Family! Caring for children who are close to my daughters’ ages has helped. As well as Alan and I supporting the girls, they all support each other.”

The family do a lot together and Trina says it’s often the simple things the girls enjoy such as walking the dog, beachcombing or just being together as a family. They make use of the Culture-all Passport to get into the County Council’s country parks and other offers which they can access as foster carers.

“Children don’t need lots of money spent on them,” said Trina. “What they need is people around them who are patient, loving, supportive and will fight for them if they need anything.”

If you think you have what it takes to foster – a sense of humour, patience, a willingness to learn and adapt, energy and flexibility – we’d love to hear from you.