Trish and Duane

from Bristol

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Trish (49) and Duane (50) from Bristol are first time foster carers with Pathway Care after being approved in March 2014. They are currently providing respite care to a young boy, but have already had experience of caring for a family – a mum and dad with their new baby.

Trish said: “Fostering was something we always wanted to do after our own children had grown up and moved on. We did our research and shortlisted three foster care providers, finally deciding on Pathway Care as it was by far the best and the team is very proactive and professional. We weren’t sure if we’d be accepted as foster carers at first as we’ve never done anything like that before. But Pathway Care was very reassuring and keen to get us up to speed which is exactly what we wanted.

“I’d previously worked with social workers and in the child protection field. I also worked with students to help them achieve their social care qualifications, so I’ve been able to put all this experience to good effect.

“We have a young boy with us presently on respite care, but we are approved to also provide long term care and parent and child care, which is something we particularly enjoy. We recently cared for adult parents and their baby who were with us for just over three months. This came immediately after we’d done the parent and child training course with Pathway Care so the timing couldn’t have been better. We felt very well prepared to welcome them into our home and, in the three month period they were with us, we were able to put our skills to good use. We saw the family develop and learn better parenting skills in the time they were with us, which was very rewarding.

“It was quite daunting at first to take on a family so soon after the training, but we had excellent support from Pathway Care. We felt proud that we had been able to make such a difference to this family. In the year since we’ve been providing foster care we’ve had seven people under our roof and every placement is different. We’re looking forward to the next time we have to care for a parent and child or family.

“For any potential foster carers out there I’d say do your research. Get as much information as you can. My sister has now seen what being a foster carer has done for us and she is now exploring becoming a foster carer herself. I can’t recommend it highly enough – it’s the most rewarding thing we’ve ever done. Helping children and families get the best possible support, encouraging independence and passing on your own skills and knowledge to people who otherwise wouldn’t know what to do, does provide a real sense of achievement.”

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