Fostering case studies - Sandra`s story

Sandra, along with her husband Rob, has been a foster carer in Carlisle for 35 years.

She said: "I started fostering because I really, really wanted to make a difference; if only to one person. In fact we've now looked after 196 children, from new born babies to teenagers and sibling groups. There are so many children who just need love, understanding and security.

"As a carer you need to have what we call 'stickability' - to see past the problems and stick with it. One boy who came to us had never been shown how to use a knife and fork. He was 13. We expect these children to play the game but they've never been given the full deck, so how can they play the game? It is down to us to show them.

"When it is time for the children to leave, I struggle with it every time. Every child that leaves takes a part of you with them. But if they remember just one little thing we've taught them, then we've made a difference and it's a very special feeling."

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