When I first started fostering it really was a step into the unknown. My wife and I had decided it was something that we would try as an alternative to our 9-5 existence.
I was commuting into Central London and she was working locally. I had worked 9-5 since I was 16, mostly in London, and it was beginning to lose its enjoyment.
We both had children from children from previous relationships so childcare was nothing new. The plan would be that we both underwent the training but, initially, I would carry on working in my job at a Law Firm in Holborn, Central London, so the majority of childcare responsibilities would fall on my wife. The training was with a North London Local Authority (LA).
My wife would attend all of the courses and I would attend courses, mainly in the evening, with her. I actually found the training really enjoyable as the training officer was fun and brought lots of laughter into the courses. After the training was completed we had a very short wait for our first placement.
The placement was a new born little girl and she introduced us to the world of Fostering. It was the perfect first placement, no family involvement and very little Social Worker involvement. It was a case of looking after her until adoptive parents could be found. It also introduced us to the heartbreak than can happen when the time comes for the child to move on.
You cannot show that upset as that would be deemed unprofessional but you can share it as a couple. It was hard, that first time, really hard. It helped that we got on with her adoptive parents but I can still remember now the emotions of the Saturday morning when she was collected to start her new life.