"If I could make just one young person feel safe it would be worth it."

Cate and Rebekka’s Fostering Story

Cate and Rebekka

The moment Cate (Cathleen) knew she wanted to foster dates back to her time in school. She had a close friend who lived in very difficult circumstances and when that friend moved to her foster home, Cate remembers how nervous the friend was because she was stepping into the unknown. However, Cate recalls the incredible change in her friend once she began to feel safe and cared for her in her foster home. Now, aged 45, along with her wife Rebekka, Cate has so far fostered 25 children and young people in their home in Stockton on Tees. Reflecting on her childhood friend and the difference fostering made to her life, Cate says, “I decided then if I could make just one young person feel safe it would be worth it.”

We spoke with Cate and Rebekka about some of the highlights of their fostering journey so far.

“Each child brings their own highlights. There’s a lot to choose from in nearly 17 years! One would be a non-verbal 8-year-old learning to say our names. Also, supporting families to make positive changes to enable children to go home to their parents is up there with some of our favourite moments. However, my biggest highlight has got to be being chosen as a grandma for my eldest (foster) daughters’ children. Holding her hand through pregnancies and labour, seeing those babies born, and watching them grow in a safe and loving family is wonderful.”

“She is now 30 and a couple of years ago we went wedding dress shopping together, I've never been prouder! Watching her become a young woman, and grow into a loving, protective, positive role model for her children has been a wonderful journey.”

For Cate, whilst the big moments have been incredible to witness, she is also grateful for the seemingly smaller, fleeting moments that represents one of the most important parts of fostering – a child or young person’s happiness.

“It’s difficult to describe, I find the small details that many people would take for granted very rewarding. Seeing a child playing in the garden, with their mind free of worry, to explore the moment is so heartwarming. I love showing them a different way through life and helping them to build confidence. Watching a child grow gives me so much pleasure.”

Cate and Rebekka

To those considering becoming a foster carer, Cate encourages you to take that first step to learn more about how it works and how you can help children and young people.

If you are interested in fostering and would like to know more, complete an enquiry form and someone from Swiis Foster Care will ring you for a chat. They will be able to answer any questions you may have, which will help you determine if fostering is for you.

“You have nothing to lose, and you and a child have so much to gain.”

In Cate’s experience of fostering with Swiis, she has felt supported, encouraged, and respected as a foster carer.

“Children deserve to see the world in all its glorious colours! We have been fostering with Swiis for more than 16 years, we have always felt supported and valued. Swiis have many carers and staff who are part of the LGBTQ+ community who advocate for children and young people in our care, it really is a wonderful career and vocation and we have amazing Swiis staff to support us through every step of our fostering journey.”

If Cate’s fostering story has inspired you, speak to someone in our team about becoming a foster carer. They will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Start Your Fostering Journey

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

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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?

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