This feature about fostering has been influenced by carer experiences, not an individual’s personal journey.

I had always known about fostering, but it wasn't until I turned 48 that I started to consider it as a career. By this time, my two daughters had grown up and moved out, and I felt a gap in my life that I wanted to fill.

By chance, I met the Fostering In Somerset recruitment team at an event one day, and the team took the time to explain the ins and outs of fostering to me. I learned about the different types of foster care, and they explained the process of applying. They were really honest with me, and I learned exactly how much money I could expect to receive as a foster carer.

What drew me to fostering was the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable local children. As a naturally caring person, I have always felt I had more to offer the world and fostering seemed like a perfect outlet for that.

After researching the role more and staying in contact with the recruitment team, I decided to take the plunge and apply. Six months later, I was fully trained and accepted as a Somerset foster carer.

I started my fostering journey by providing short-stay respite care. This was perfect for me initially, as I was working full time in a demanding role, which meant I couldn't commit fully to foster care at the time. I fell completely in love with the role and looked forward to welcoming each foster child into my home.

I then decided to progress my fostering career and changed to full-time fostering. The competitive payments I received from Fostering In Somerset meant I could leave my job with peace of mind and financial security.

Fostering full time allowed me to really get to know the young people I was caring for. It gave them a chance to get comfortable in their new home, and to grow and develop as young people. It was incredibly rewarding to see the children grow in confidence, and to celebrate their achievements together.

I have made memories I will cherish for a lifetime. Fostering is my way of making a difference to the world. I didn't have the best childhood myself, so being able to provide a stable and supportive home for vulnerable children in Somerset means a lot to me.

To find out how you can change a child's story as a foster carer, visit the Fostering In Somerset website: or call 0800 587 9900.

You are not committing to anything by getting in touch, and you could make a real difference to the life of a local young person in care.