“My family probably carries a caring gene embedded somewhere. You would usually get it from your mother but in our case, it was from our father. He used to work in the army and he was always very involved in the community. He would bring the old neighbors their shopping and would take the men down to the pub and collect them later. I grew up in an open-door neighborhood. People used to come in and out of our house all the time. My mother contracted TB when we were young, so growing up, my father did a lot of the caring in our house. When we were young, he would prepare the hot water in the basin and have breakfast ready for all of us before he would wake us up. Then, after he brought us all to school, he would bring up a slice of brown toast and tea to my mother before leaving for work – every single morning. I think this is a big part of the reason that my whole family is now part of the foster care system. We all love to care for each other and others. My sisters and I started around the same time when Ireland began breaking up the residential care units. These huge units used to house 100 – 120 children in them and fostering came from there as they decided to break down these units. Together with my sisters, we looked after about 26 children across the last 19 years. While there are many challenges when you are fostering, the benefits still outweigh them. I always say that fostering is an extraordinary job done by ordinary people on behalf of the parents and the state. My family and I are so proud to be part of this wonderful group of people.”
This post was highlighted by Irish Foster Care Association as part of the annual Fostering Fortnight campaign to raise awareness and understanding of foster care in Ireland.
The Irish Foster Care Association’s annual campaign takes place from 2nd – 15th March. Fostering Fortnight highlights the valuable contributions made in fostering families every day. It is a chance for all those involved in fostering, and the communities that support them to tell their stories and share their experiences. To find out more about Fostering Fortnight and the Irish Foster Care Association visit www.ifca.ie