Permanent foster carer Richard says his life has been totally enriched since welcoming four children into his life.
Single professional Richard is relatively new to the world of foster caring, but already says “it’s the most wonderful thing I’ve ever done”.
Having been approved as a long-term carer in 2016, following a rigorous assessment process, the 47-year-old has taken in three siblings, plus another older child.
Fostering has brought a ‘real sense of achievement’ for single professional Richard
Richard, who lives in Lincolnshire, is just one new carer filling the growing need for long-term or “permanent” foster carers in incolnshire, and has provided a loving, safe family environment for four children who need it.
“I’ve held responsible jobs, had a professional career and travelled all over the world, but this has brought a greater sense of achievement than anything I could have dreamed of,” he said.
There are many, many challenges along the way, but my life is so much richer since becoming a foster parent. When I put my head on the pillow at night I feel a real sense of pride because I’m doing something worthwhile.
“Within a couple of months, I had total love for these children, you absolutely fall for them. It can be tough if they don’t immediately show you the same love or respect but over time you grow together as a family.”
Taking in a child or children on a long-term or permanent basis brings many challenges, but, as Richard explains, there is always help and support.
“I’m not going to tell anyone that it doesn’t bring challenges, of course it does, but you’re never alone. I get so much help from a fantastic support network provided by the council’s fostering team.
“There is literally never a situation where you cannot pick up the phone and get relevant advice or practical help. Nothing is new to the support workers and they are always, always there to help.
“I cannot praise them highly enough, because having them there makes all the difference.” Richard adds: “My advice to anyone who might be considering providing foster care would be to have faith in yourself. There are children out there for every single carer.”
Could you be a foster carer?
Lincolnshire County Council’s fostering team are looking for more people who can provide a happy, safe environment in which children can flourish.
Nationally, it is thought that 8,000 new foster families are needed in the next 12 months, especially long-term carers and those who can care for older children, sibling groups or disabled children.
Foster carers are provided with an allowance to help with the cost of caring for children. More information about the journey to being a foster carer can be found at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/fostering – alternatively, please call 01522 554114 or email Fand A Recruitment@lincolnshire.gov.uk