I always wanted to have children but never seemed to meet the right person. Fostering had always appealed to me, as I liked the idea of making a difference to a child in need, but wasn’t sure if I’d be able to foster a child on my own. I decided to look into it further, and completed Fostering for Middlesbrough’s online quiz. I was delighted to see that I could be a single foster carer and got in touch with Middlesbrough Council straightaway to find out more.

The help they provided throughout the process was outstanding. They made sure I was fully informed about the different types of fostering available and the responsibilities each one would require. After learning more, I knew this was the right choice for me, and decided to foster teenagers. Although I knew it would be challenging, I’m a patient person and I knew I could provide the reassurance, care, and boundaries that children need.

Before becoming a foster carer, I worked full time for a well-known supermarket in their warehouse. Although I enjoyed my job, I felt like I needed to do something more fulfilling, but I was worried that I’d struggle financially as a single carer. I needn’t have worried because the extra income I receive from fostering means I can work part-time at the supermarket while the children are at school, and be home in the evenings and on weekends to spend time with them.

Fostering teenagers can be challenging at times; no child is the same and they all have different needs to consider. It can be tough to hear the difficulties most of the children have faced growing up, but when they open up to me and begin to show trust, it’s such an amazing feeling to know I’m making a difference.

We have great fun and the children love having me there to help them out with homework and give advice when they need it.

Is fostering for you? If, like John, you could help a child when they need it most, talk to us on 01642 201962 or email fostering@middlesbrough.gov.uk to find out more.

My foster children always say that ‘I have their back’ which makes me feel really proud and that I’m doing a good job.

An adult helping a child with homework