Foster carers Phil, 42, and Amanda, 38, had been approved to foster for just a month when the phone rang, a referral was sent and they were ready – as ready as you ever are – to receive their first fostering placement. The couple who had met on holiday twelve years previously live with their ten-year-old son, Rolly. The last member of the family is a tabby cat called Edgar.
Phil and Amanda have had the idea of becoming foster carers on and off. But it took root seriously about eighteen months ago when Phil’s job allowed him to work from home three days a week. Another good thing was that they live in a house with two spare rooms as well as a big garden. And now approved to foster they were set to embark on an exciting if an unpredictable new chapter in their lives.
When starting out, they had first thought of fostering with their local authority. Amanda had picked up a leaflet in the library that had set them in this way of thinking. But as soon as they began researching on the internet, they realised that fostering through an agency might suit them better. There was so much choice, but Amanda said that when they found Rainbow’s website and discovered the agency had over two decades of experience – and had been rated ‘Outstanding in all areas’ by Ofsted, approaching them just “felt right.” Phil said that he had been particularly impressed with the level and detail of information provided on the Rainbow website. Both Phil and Amanda felt reassured when they met the team at Rainbow because everyone was very friendly. Phil said that the ‘Skills to Foster’ training course had been a real eye-opener for them both. It had always been made clear that fostering isn’t right for everyone and that part of the reason for the course was to help people to make sure they were making the right decision. Phil said that this had been welcome because it meant they did not feel pressured in any way. But the course made them realise that being foster carers would certainly be challenging. Rainbow made sure that they had the opportunity to meet with some of the agencies foster carers whilst the course was in progress. Both Phil and Amanda thought this had been hugely valuable if for no other reason than it was clear everyone’s experience of fostering would always be unique. And it was very clear that the foster carers at Rainbow were making a genuine and lasting difference to a lot of young lives.
Amanda has had a long association with the Girl Guides and always thought of it as one big family. In the last couple of years, through the Guides, she has been involved with a couple of young people that were being fostered. She could see the huge difference that being in a secure and stable home had made to them. For a start, they had been given the chance to join the Guides which itself made a big difference to their lives and experiences. Amanda could see from this that something very important in her own life could be shared with a vulnerable youngster. And that could well give a child a whole new direction – new hobbies, friends and interests.
The couple thinks that fostering is one of the most powerful things anyone can choose to do with their lives. To be able to give a child who is lost, alone and vulnerable the chance to grow up in a secure, caring environment is life-transforming for all concerned. Amanda and Phil count themselves especially blessed.
That very first placement had tested their nerves; a young boy of nine who was an emergency placement. But they felt, with the close support from Rainbow they had coped and would like to have had the youngster for longer. Now they have a long-term foster placement which is working out extremely well.
So much so, twelve-year-old Lucy already has another badge to sew on to her Girl Guides uniform! Find out more at
Pictures & names changed to protect privacy
Rainbow Fostering is recruiting in Hampshire, London, Birmingham & Manchester.
To find out more about a career in fostering call us on 020 8427 or use our National Line 0330 311 2845.
We are arranging Skype online applications – so you can apply right now. You need to be more than 21 years old, be a full-time resident in the UK or have indefinite leave to remain, have a spare bedroom, reasonable spoken and written English and the time and availability to dedicate yourself to caring for a foster child.
And for the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic and how to stay alert, stay safe, save lives and protect the NHS you can visit – https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/coronavirus Any applicant seriously considering foster care should visit our FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page on our website to be found at – http://rainbowfostering.co.uk/frequent-asked-questions/