"Knowing that you’ve made a difference is the best feeling in the world"

Conrad's fostering story

Conrad has been a Swiis Foster Carer in Fife since 2014 and shares his experience of fostering.

Conrad’s fostering journey in numbers

My favourite thing about being a foster carer is seeing the children smile, watching them grow, watching them develop into young adults and seeing them make the right decisions.

“I started working as a panel member on a children’s panel and within my role, I would come into contact with children in care that, at times, were suffering from neglect and lack of care.

Seeing those same children a few months down the line after having gone into foster care and seeing the tremendous visible change within such a short period, made an impact on me.
Triggering the thought “I could do that”, it made me think that I would love to foster, even if I could only make a difference to one child’s life, then I would have done something worthwhile and that was my main reason for fostering, to make a make an impact on vulnerable children’s lives.

Within days of being approved, we had our first placement which was an emergency placement that was meant to last for a weekend. This was then extended for another week due to placement breakdown which sometimes happens. After which point we were asked if we could care for the child fulltime as it was such a good fit for our family. The child ended up staying for two and a half years until he moved into independence.

Our fostering experience since then has been mainly a positive one, we’ve had four children in our care since we started fostering and I have to say that the pros far outweigh away the cons.

As we didn’t have children of our own we had to completely re-shift the way we lived our life. As with any new parent, it might come as a bit of culture shock as you no longer have the freedom to come and go as you please. You find yourself jumping on trampolines, playing crazy golf and go-karting, which was not the kind of things I was doing in my spare time prior to becoming a foster carer, but I found myself really enjoying those moments with our foster children.

What’s important to the children in care is that they feel cared for and a need to be just like any other child, they want to have fun, go to school come home and play on their Xbox. Material things are not important though. They just want somebody to love them, that’s what the kids care about most. It’s them knowing that somebody’s going to be there at the end of the day to pick them up from school and give them dinner. Knowing they belong. Some of the children come with a lot of baggage and it’s your job as a carer to take it all in so that you can understand them better. Some of the things they have experienced might be hard to swallow but it’s important that as a carer, I put on a brave face for them to be able to move on from their experiences.

My favourite thing about being a foster carer is seeing the children smile, watching them grow, watching them develop into young adults and seeing them make the right decisions. Watching them being able to come to you and say, “this is happening, how do I stop it?” I think that’s one of the big things, knowing that the children trust you enough to tell you what’s going on in their lives.

If anyone is considering fostering I would tell them to take a really long and hard look at what you are about to do, as it’s not going to be a walk in the park. There are lots of good things but there can also be lots of bad stuff and you need to be able to cope with both. In the end, it’s very rewarding and knowing that you’ve made a difference, honestly, is the best feeling in the world.

During the tough times I have felt really supported, I know if I need to I can call on any staff member including the Director should I need to. I rarely need the support but when I do I know that Swiis has my back should I need a bit of help and advice. I can see myself still fostering with Swiss in years’ to come.”

If Conrad ’s fostering story has inspired you, please enquire today about becoming a foster carer.

Start Your Fostering Journey

With thousands of children coming into foster care in the UK everyday, we urgently need foster carers more than ever.

Father and foster child fishing

Refer a Friend

Do you know anyone who would be a fantastic foster carer who has the skills and compassion to support a child or young person in need of a loving home?

Boys celebrating soccer goal