Natalie's Story

Natalie's fostering journey in Rotherham

Natalie and her husband have been fostering for eight months. In that time they have given respite care twice for one little girl, and have been looking after a little boy since he was born.


“We had always wanted to foster,” explained Natalie, who was a nurse with the NHS for a decade, “it was just a matter of time, as we both worked full time, and we also wanted to wait until our two young children were old enough to understand what was involved.”


“Our children are now aged seven and five and fostering suits us really well as a family. In fact, I wish we had done it sooner,” Natalie said, “making the decision to change my career and become a foster carer is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.”


“Our children are now aged seven and five and fostering suits us really well as a family. In fact, I wish we had done it sooner”


Currently, the couple foster children under the age of two. “We’ve had the child we are fostering at the minute from when he was born and, as a family, we think he is brilliant and really enjoy looking after him,” Natalie explained, “and we’ve also given respite care to a little girl two times now; it was lovely seeing her again just a few weeks later.


“It’s amazing to be able to give children the start in life that they sometimes can’t have, and be there for them, be their advocate, and support their family.”


Foster carers can specify the age groups of the children they look after, which has worked well for Natalie and her family. She explained: “As our children get older, we can change ages as we go along so it will fit in really well for us all as a family.”


“It’s amazing to be able to give children the start in life that they sometimes can’t have, and be there for them, be their advocate, and support their family.”


The couple applied with Fostering Rotherham in February 2020 and, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, found the process straightforward and supportive. Natalie said:


“The whole process was really straightforward from application through to assessment and we were given lots of training. We were informed and supported every step of the way and given lots of preparation support for our assessment interviews, which took place online because of the pandemic. It’s not as daunting as you would think.”


Now, as approved foster carers, they have also become part of the fostering community in Rotherham. “We get so much support,” Natalie commented, “and it’s a big help. There are online groups that meet once a month that I attend, and I have also made friends with other foster carers and stayed in touch with them.”


“We’ve loved it so far and have felt really supported and prepared through both the training we have been given and by being part of the fostering family community.


“We’ve loved it so far and have felt really supported and prepared through both the training we have been given and by being part of the fostering family community”


“I would definitely recommend becoming a foster carer – it’s the most amazing job and I have been able to adapt really well and apply all my qualities of being a nurse into caring for children and making a positive difference to them.”


For anyone interested in becoming a foster carer, Natalie said that the qualities needed include being caring and putting the child’s interests first.


“You need to be empathetic, honest and be able to build trust with the child and their family. It’s also important to be punctual, dedicated, resilient, non-judgemental and provide a stable, loving home environment.”


“If you’re interested just apply,” Natalie urged, “you can ask as many questions as you want during the process so even just making that first enquiry will get you on the right path.”


Learn more about fostering in Rotherham

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