Foster Carer Stories
Peter & Paula
Blackburn couple Peter and Paula Quinn applied to become long-term foster carers after their own two sons had grown up.
The pair wanted to offer children a stable home and started fostering two brothers aged 13 and 14.
Paula, 46, explains: “We didn’t want to foster short term, we never did. We decided from the outset that we wanted older children and that we wanted them long term. There’s no benefit in children being passed from pillar to post, if they’re in one place for a good length of time it offers them stability”.
Peter, 50, added: “It was just the right time for us; our lads are getting older now, which is another reason why we wanted older children and preferably boys – so they could relate to them and act as role models.”
“There’s no harm in making that first call to find out more about fostering”, Paula added.
Their experience inspired two friends who were asked to provide character witnesses as part of Peter and Paula’s application to apply to foster too.
Paula adds: “My friend, whom I have known all my life, was asked to provide a reference for us when we were going through the initial process. Whilst doing so, her and her husband expressed an interest in also becoming foster carers. They have recently been approved and are now awaiting a placement.”
Sylvia & David Coulthard
Christmas is always frantic but filled with fun and laughter in Blackburn foster carer Sylvia Coulthard’s house. Sylvia, who has four grown up children of her own, always has at least a couple of extra happy faces around the Christmas table – and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Being able to give children a fun and exciting Christmas is a real joy, and is another reminder that all the hard work you put in as a foster carer is worth it,” explains Sylvia, who with her husband David has been a foster carer for Blackburn with Darwen Council for 35 years.
Sylvia particularly enjoys fostering teens, saying “watching them mature into young adults, and watching them develop and grow is really rewarding.
This Christmas, Sylvia, who to date has looked after around 150 children, is fostering two boys aged 12 and 13. Sylvia enjoys offering children love and stability and being part of a team the most.
She adds: “We foster carers are a diverse bunch, there are as many reasons for fostering as there are people and for me it was my experiences as a nurse – I felt I could make a difference”.
Sylvia praises the help available to foster carers, with social workers and schools all providing support to get the best outcomes for the child. “There is good support and you become part of a team looking after the child,” says Sylvia.
“There is so much enjoyment and you get a real buzz when you see things working out. Watching the children grow mature and develop, you know that you have made a big difference to their lives.”
Sam Briggs and Tony Perrie
Blackburn with Darwen Foster Carers Sam and Tony talk about their experiences of fostering.
Sharon and Joe Burns
Fostering Older Children for Blackburn with Darwen
Meet our foster carers Joe and Sharon Burns in this short video about fostering older children for Blackburn with Darwen. We currently need more carers to look after older children. If you would like to know more please contact the team for more information.
Valda & Tony Creech
Blackburn with Darwen foster carers Valda & Tony Creech talk about their experiences of caring for a child with complex health needs.
Single Foster Carer Joan Connelly talks about her experiences of fostering for Blackburn with Darwen.
Blackburn with Darwen foster carer Belinda Dearden talks about her experiences of fostering a parent and child.