Pete & Sue’s Fostering Journey5 July, 2019
“A life changing illness actually changed our lives for the better…”
Pete and Sue tell us how a life changing illness finally meant they were able to chase their dream of fostering children.
When Pete Stocks was diagnosed with Leukaemia five years ago, it changed his life in many ways. Although he won his battle with the leukaemia, it left him with a disability that means he struggles to get around so he had to give up his job.
For 20 years, Pete and his wife Sue had talked about fostering children but with two girls of their own and full time jobs, they just didn’t feel like they could commit to taking in a child who was likely to need lots of their time and focus.
Pete told us:
‘I was seriously ill and although I have recovered, my resulting disability means that I have to work from home and this finally gave Sue and I the push we needed to look into fostering. After years of bringing up a family and working, we finally had the time that we needed to devote to a child who needed us. We also had the space as both of our girls have left home.’
Nearly two years on and the couple have fostered two children, one of which has turned into a long-term placement.
‘David* came to us 18 months ago and we’ve seen his self confidence grow with each passing month and while it’s incredibly rewarding – when you commit to fostering a child, you have to do so with your eyes open’, said Pete.
‘Fostering is 24 hours a day so you don’t get much time to yourself. There is respite care available but we haven’t used it, as the foster children become part of your family so they do everything with us.
We do get a lot of support from ISP Whitstable and it’s always good to know that they’re just a phone call away.’
As well as raising their own children, Sue had some experience of working with young people from her time working at a school. Pete had very little experience although this didn’t impact on the final decision allowing them to become foster carers.
Pete told us:
‘We were surprised at how long it took to do all of the relevant checks and how in depth the searches into your past are but when you are talking about children, you can’t be too careful so we were more than happy to be a part of the process.
I would encourage anyone who has the time and the space to consider fostering a child. David* is like a different child from the one we took in 18 months ago. He’s now confident and allowed to be who he wants to be. He’s become part of our family and we wouldn’t change that for the world.’