"I don’t know anyone that has fostered and wishes they hadn’t done it"
Michael and Annie's fostering story
Michael and Annie have been Swiis Foster Carers since 2010. They have 2 birth children and currently look after a sibling group of four long term. Michael shares his experiences with us…
Their fostering journey in numbers
“My mum fostered for over 20 years, and growing up I saw the huge impact she made to the lives of the children she looked after.”
“Until 8 years ago we were both working full time. We always knew we wanted to help children through fostering and after a bereavement in the family it just felt like the right time, we thought, ‘You can’t sit around waiting forever for the right time, you just need to go for it!’.
My mum fostered for over 20 years, and growing up I saw the huge impact she made to the lives of the children she looked after.
Our first experience of fostering was an emergency baby placement. We received a call on a Friday and that evening a 2-week-old baby arrived. It was really lovely looking after him and honestly, it was hard to say goodbye after a few weeks!
Initially, we wanted to be short-term carers to help as many children as possible but when the 4 siblings came it made sense to look after them long term as they were unlikely to be adopted together. Annie and I are now both full-time carers and the siblings; 2 boys and 2 girls, have been with us 8 years. The positive moments can be the little things.
One of our little ones is autistic and sometimes he says the most profound things to us and that’s amazing as 5 years ago we started to learn sign language with him as he wouldn’t communicate.
Now after all the support he has had and the special school we got him in to, he won’t stop talking! Seeing how safe and happy they all feel in our home is fantastic. I feel that if these children had to leave us tomorrow, they would be equipped with enough resilience to get by and make a success in life.
Annie and I both said we just wanted to give a young person a place where they can realise not everyone and everywhere in the world is bad. They can look back at their time with us and think there were some kind people that looked after us.
As the children are of Caribbean heritage, we make sure we teach them to cook Caribbean meals and we have learnt how to care for afro hair. They call us mum and dad too which was their decision but we feel privileged.
To anyone considering becoming a foster carer, I would say; you should consider the impact that having another person living with you can have on you but there are so many positives to take from it. I don’t know anyone that has done it and wishes they hadn’t done it. I would encourage anyone to give it a try.”
You, too, could turn a child’s life around. If Michael and Annie’s fostering story has inspired you, please enquire today about becoming a foster carer.