"It’s so rewarding to be able to give children a start in life that will help them reach their own goals."

Nicola and Gerald's fostering story

Margaret Stemp

Opening your hearts to children and young people who require a safe and loving home may be unpredictable, but as Gerald and Nicola have found, the rewards are most definitely worth it.

The couple who live in Lancashire, have just celebrated a decade in fostering with Swiis Foster Care. Over the last ten years, Gerald and Nicola have opened their door (and their hearts) to 6 foster children.

To mark the anniversary milestone, the local couple were honoured at an awards event for Swiis foster carers in the region, recognising long service.

With Nicola previously having worked as a childminder, and parents to 3 children of their own, fostering felt like the most natural thing in the world for Gerald and Nicola, as Gerald explains:

“Nicola had been a childminder for well over 30 years and the house has always been full of children.”

“We had talked about fostering as we both felt that we had more to offer, so, it seemed like the perfect option to become foster carers.”
Nicola & Gerald

“And what a decision that proved to be. There have been so many special moments over the years. Our very first placement was a long-term sibling group, two brothers.

“We have never been so pleased to see children in our care flourish. It’s so rewarding to be able to give them a start in life that will help them reach their own goals. It was important also, to let them know that they are wanted and have a home for as long as they need one. We are not replacing the children’s birth family but helping them get to a place in life, they may not have got to without a little help.”

With Nicola’s childminding background, she also had experience of working with children with disabilities, which has allowed Nicola and her husband to take on similar children as foster carers. As Nicola explains:

“It was a challenge to take on a child with a disability, but we had experience, so we were prepared for the challenges that lay ahead.”

“Early on we had the chance to foster a sibling group, one of which required advanced support. We are so proud of him, he has overcome obstacles all his life. We were told he wouldn’t speak, swim, or ride a bike, but we have watched him flourish and achieve all these things. He achieved good grades at school; and with his brother joined us on holidays where they experienced different cultures. ”

“He's become a positive and brilliant young man.”
Nicola & Gerald

If Nicola and Gerald’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.

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

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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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