Meet our foster carers
Gracie23We believe that our foster carers are amazing. We are proud of our carers who raise the bar for Bromley’s children every single day.
Read through a small selection of the many success stories we see across the borough every day.
Steve and Jenny’s story
“We’re passionate about fostering for Bromley – we just love looking after children.”
“Our children had grown up,” explains foster carer Steve “but we thought we still had plenty to offer. Nothing pleases me more than discovering what a child is good at, encouraging them, and praising them so they succeed, little-by-little.”
“You need to be attuned to young people and remember they make mistakes. Don’t chastise them all the time. We even celebrate routine, such as regular bedtime, having breakfast together and going to school – new to some children from less organised lives.”
“Be flexible: your life changes when a new child comes through the door. There’s always plenty to consider and the needs of the child are paramount. Bromley Fostering Team makes sure you feel part of a team with the child’s best interests at its core.”
“I’d more or less decided on fostering teenagers so it was good to know that was what they recommended for me.”
"About ten years ago, I was listening to a discussion about fostering with my daughter on the local radio station – about how they could never find enough carers for teenagers – and my daughter suddenly said, “You should do that, mum!”
"I think I answered something like she’d almost driven me to an early grave when she was a teenager and that was enough for me, thank you very much. I didn’t think about it again until she finally left home in her early 20s and I was all on my own. It still took me a few weeks to pluck up the courage and ring the number for Bromley’s Fostering Service but I needn’t have worried – they were really friendly and suggested I go to one of their Drop-In Sessions to find out more. There I had a few long chats with people who already were foster carers and with one of the Fostering Social Workers from Bromley and, by the time I left, I knew it was for me.”
"I’d more or less decided on fostering teenagers so it was good to know that was what they recommended for me. People think I’m mad but I do like being around the little beggars – sulking, moping, answering back and all! - and it keeps me on my toes and young.”
"Some people find the assessment and training a bit of a fag but I reckon it’s all necessary when you think you’re responsible for young people’s futures – I wish I’d known some of what they told us when I was bringing my own children up!”
"I’ve had all the support I’ve needed from Bromley, especially from my Supervising Social Worker (I still call her a Link Worker, which shows you how long I’ve been fostering – they haven’t been called that for years!) I’ve had five youngsters in that time - three boys and two girls – but most of all, despite the tantrums and the dramas, I’ve had FUN and I’m so grateful to my daughter for nagging me to do it."
Henry and Louisa’s story
“If you’re reading this, you’re obviously interested in becoming a foster-carer so I’d advise you to contact Bromley as soon as possible so you can talk it over with someone”
"The first thing to say is, if you’re thinking about being a foster carer, stop thinking about it and get yourself down NOW to a Bromley Fostering Drop-In Session to have a chat to them. Or pick up the phone and give them a call. They’ll talk it all through with you and tell you whether you’ll be able to do it (trust me, you will!) and what sort of a caring you’d be best suited to. We spent so long weighing up all the pros and cons, debating about it between ourselves, that we missed a good year of what’s turned out to be the best part of our life. Of course, it’s hard but the rewards are immense.”
"We offer respite care for disabled children in general, one or two in particular, so their families can have time to recharge their batteries. It’s usually for an odd weekend but we have done the occasional week or even fortnight so the families can have a real holiday. We always try to make it a special occasion so that the children don’t feel they’re being got out of the way and we certainly don’t think of their families in this way, having now had experience of how demanding looking after a disabled child can be.”
"So we build our time with them around trips and outings, even if it’s just to the local park. We can be quite assertive in places where not enough care is given to making facilities easy to use by disabled people!”
"Bromley have helped us with necessary adaptations to the house (ramps, handrails, a new disabled-friendly bathroom and we are currently considering their offer of a stair lift) and to our transport.”
"If you’re reading this, you’re obviously interested in becoming a foster carer so I’d advise you to contact Bromley as soon as possible so you can talk it over with someone. It won’t commit you to anything and it could be lead to something that will change your life for the better!"
Amaya and Leon’s Story
“It’s usually been plain sailing and when it has been difficult, we’ve got a good relationship with Bromley’s team, who are always ready to help out”
"We have been short-term carers with Bromley for three years now, looking after all ages but mainly babies and younger children. We have sometimes also given respite care.”
"We have two teenagers of our own and they have been fine about sharing our home with children from families who are going through bad times. In fact, they’ve been surprisingly helpful although there are occasional arguments about whose turn on the Xbox it is! It all started when a friend who was already a foster carer told us that Bromley were looking for more carers from our community so that children could be cared for by people with similar cultural backgrounds.”
"The one thing we were really worried about was having contact with the parents of the children we were fostering but it’s mainly all been handled in a very co-operative, low-key sort of way. Otherwise, everything else has usually been plain sailing and when it has been difficult, we’ve got a good relationship with Bromley’s team, who are always ready to help out - not just on the social work side but the teachers and healthcare people too.”
“Short-term” can mean anything up to a couple of years so the really hard thing can be to say goodbye to our foster children when the time has come for them to move on. Some of them have moved on to adoption and we are really happy for them but still sad!”
"My wife and I have started seriously considering if that could be something we could do but at the moment, even counting the sad goodbyes, we’re happy as we are. And despite the sadness, we take care to celebrate “our” children’s departure either back to their own families or to a long-term placement where they will get the love and stability all children need.”
"We were and still are grateful for all the training Bromley has given us but deep down I think what foster carers need more than anything else is patience and understanding. Of course, I suppose you could say the training has helped us develop that too because it’s hard to be anything else when you realise what some of these kids have been through.”
"The training has also helped us to feel an important part of the team that puts these children back together again – we are treated as full members of the group and always listened to when we have any opinions on the best way to deal with any problems that arise.”
Have they inspired you?
Could you foster for Bromley?
Visit fostering for Bromley to find out more.