Vicky and her partner Jane have been providing foster care to young people in the north-east of England for four years.

For Jane, the best part of fostering is when she sees the change in young people in her care: 'they come to us subdued and often frightened and not sure what is happening in their lives, but you see them settle and you see them come on leaps and bounds and that’s very rewarding.'

For Vicky it’s the realisation that they know you care: 'the children we foster couldn’t believe that we wanted to come to their Christmas shows and things – that was the thing for them that showed them we cared.'

The support from Barnardo’s

The support the couple get from Barnardo’s has always been important to them: 'it has been invaluable' says Jane 'especially with us being new to fostering and dealing with more challenging young people. We’ve had all of the mandatory training and we’ve had any training we felt we needed and extra support on top of that.'

Vicky adds that the support they’ve had has been ‘seamless’. She says 'even if the Barnardo’s social worker is promoted or moves to another job, the great support we’ve had hasn’t been affected. And the other great thing about Barnardo’s Fostering and Adoption North East is that everybody knows your name. It’s not like other offices where you are intimidated by the atmosphere – it’s really friendly.'

Being there for the children

Jane talks about the importance of being a constant for the young person '…being the person giving them the confidence to be able to come and ask you questions and to help them understand what’s happening to them and that they are safe.'