Tanya and Dave have been fostering in North Yorkshire for just over two years.
Tanya and Dave have been fostering now for just over two years. They do not have any children of their own, although Tanya enjoyed much involvement with her niece over the years and has experience from her work in childcare.
Tanya had always wanted to foster, feeling there were children 'out there' in need of a safe and loving home.
The time had to be right, though, to fit around work commitments and to make sure that both her and Dave had the space in their lives, as well as in their home, to foster.
As Tanya explains:
"We wanted to do respite fostering for our first year, to learn more about how things work, before taking on either short or long term placements. We had two boys for whom we provided respite care - and still do – this was a really good way to start our fostering career. Prior to the first placement, we had met the boys, so this helped things along, too.
Our next placement was planned to be long term. It was introduced slowly, partly because of Covid restrictions but also because neither the short term foster carers nor ourselves were in a rush. This again helped the settling-in process greatly and we were all very fortunate to be in this position. Ethan was 12 when he came to us, having been with this foster family for almost two years. When he asked them why they hadn't found a new home for him, they told him 'we will only let you go to someone who loves you as much as we do!'
He still maintains contact with them and visits for tea once a week – and occasionally stays over, too, which is great for all concerned."
It is hoped that Ethan will now live with Tanya and Dave on a permanent basis, though this is yet to be officially confirmed. He shared with Tanya and Dave that he’d felt as though his life had been on ‘pause’ previously, but that now, ‘play’ has been pressed.
For Tanya and Dave this is heart-warming news and for them this means ‘the last piece of Ethan’s life jigsaw is now in place’
Tanya says "Definitely give fostering a go – there are so many different types of fostering, there will be one to suit you or your family.
People may not realise that you get profiles to read and share, and that matching takes place before a placement begins. The level of ongoing involvement with North Yorkshire Children and Family Services is pretty high - so it helps to have an awareness and expectation of this beforehand.
The boys we look after have enriched our lives and made us experience things we never would have, without fostering. They’ve even encouraged us to get a campervan to enjoy time away long before our original plan to do this in our retirement!
The best part of our fostering journey has been the children themselves, sharing our lives and our home with them, the enjoyment of being with them and changing their lives. The smiles, the fun, the silliness, playing games and doing things out of our comfort zone. We value all these experiences and hold the memories - and we encourage the children in our care to do the same."