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Being a single carer - Aimee's story

Aimee

Aimee is a 32-year-old single carer who has looked after six children of varying ages. She says, “It's something I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember. I didn't have the happiest of childhoods, but was able to seek refuge with my wonderful grandparents regularly. I wanted to offer the security and happiness that I’d been given in abundance to children that needed it.”

“Prior to fostering, I'd not long had a son of my own. I was working in the nightclub industry managing pubs and clubs that were struggling financially. Once I'd had my son I found it too difficult to leave him at night-time, so started working from home streamlining accounts for and promoting struggling businesses.”

“I’d say the best thing about fostering is seeing these children develop and grow as people. A child that arrives on your doorstep on day one is often like a completely different child three months in. It's great to see what a loving and 'normal' family can do for them. I get a real buzz out of watching it happen. No matter how hard the day has been, most nights I go to bed knowing that I'm making a difference and even if it's slow going at least I'm trying. If not you, then who?”

“I've been lucky enough to work with social workers and other professionals that have been great at what they do and have genuinely cared about the children I've looked after. I also love making friends with other carers, I've met people that I can now genuinely say will hopefully be life-long friends as we've shared some real ups and downs whilst caring for our children together.”

“I know loads of other foster carers, and built up a great friendship group and support network. They are invaluable on a 'tough’ day. We often use each other to sound off during hard times but celebrate together during the good times, and most importantly, we can lean on each other during the 'goodbyes.' “

“I guess being a single carer has it's difficulties, but it some ways it's easier too as you make all the rules and implement all the changes. If ever I doubt myself I always think that if I've managed to come up with a solution single handedly, then it's probably good enough to serve it with conviction. I suppose the advice I'd give is to make fostering friends, build a positive circle around you and a support network. Fostering (if you aren't careful) could become isolating as 'normal' parents often don’t understand our unique challenges like other foster carers do.”