A Nottinghamshire couple have paid tribute to their late son, who inspired them to take up fostering.
Newly-approved foster carers Laura and Stephen lost their 11-year-old son Corey three years ago to APECED syndrome, an auto immune disease. But Corey had told his parents that he was keen for them to foster, as he loved children.
Laura, 39, a community support worker, said: “Corey had said how much he would like another brother or sister and was keen on the idea of our family fostering children. We also feel we are giving something back by helping children. We have found the process both challenging and exciting but very rewarding.”
Stephen, who works in refuse waste and recycling, added: “It is great to see the children blossoming and growing, and we are getting a great sense of achievement out of it.”
The couple, who also have an 18-year-old daughter Chloee and pet dog Sonic, had heard about fostering in the past and after successfully completing their assessment, have now been fostering for seven months.
They currently foster two children who are siblings, and have also helped as support foster carers, looking after other children for weekends and short breaks.
One of the children was very withdrawn when he was placed initially and kept himself apart from the family but as he settled, and with nurturing from Laura and Stephen, he is now thriving and full of energy while his sibling has been successfully toilet trained!
Laura and Stephen include the children in everything they do, including taking trips to visit friends, Chessington World of Adventures, Yorkshire Wildlife Park and a holiday to Cornwall.
Stephen, 39, said: “Our aim is to give the children some lovely memories.”
Councillor Philip Owen, Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “It is great to hear how Laura and Stephen are getting so much fulfilment as foster carers. Our campaign aims to inspire more people to consider fostering in the New Year and this family’s story shows how rewarding it can be.”
For more information about fostering and to see more of Laura and Stephen’s story, visit: http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/fostering