Fostering vulnerable children changed the life of a Chesham mother, and now she shares her personal journey that has left her family ‘overjoyed’.

Feeling unfulfilled in her job in a golf club, Emma H was looking for a career change after raising her three children and working in different fields like nursing and at a bank for 20 years.

With her husband Andy, they had talked about fostering “for years” after hearing about it from other foster parents and on adverts.

One day, two years ago, she walked to a local fostering agency ISP’s office after her eldest daughter moved out leaving a spare bedroom.

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Emma said: “I actually feel so much more satisfied and content with my life. It's made a huge difference to me in every single way!”

Speaking with ISP revealed that foster care is paid, and Emma was able to swap her dead-end job to become a full-time foster parent. The agency and her “amazing” supporting social worker have made all the difference.

First the couple had to learn more about the responsible role, so Emma and Andy did the ‘skills to foster’ course.

She said: “You learn a lot, things like allegations, which were a big concern for me and around how that could affect my children and my relationship with my children, but if we all didn't foster because of that, there'd be no foster parents in this world. It’s all part of it!”

Bucks Free Press: Emma told anyone interested in fostering: ““Look into it. Speak to somebody. Do the ‘skills to foster’ course. Make enquiries. Just think about it. You won’t regret it!” (Pixabay)Emma told anyone interested in fostering: ““Look into it. Speak to somebody. Do the ‘skills to foster’ course. Make enquiries. Just think about it. You won’t regret it!” (Pixabay)

The family’s first foster child was a seven-year-old “wonderful” little girl, who stayed with them for six weeks before moving to family that could look after both her and her brother.

“It was very sad when she moved on, but it was the right thing for her and that was all great. Not long after that the young boy who is with us now came. When he came to us, he was nine years old,” Emma said.

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“We've seen massive changes in him. I mean, this was a child who couldn't regulate himself at all. He still has moments, but he is so much better now. He is so much happier and healthier.

“The best compliment I've ever had was when his uncle came for his birthday party, along with his cousin and his uncle pulled me aside and cried saying to me that he is such a changed boy.

“He thanked me so much for everything we’re doing for him and explained that they couldn't have him near their own children previously because they were scared of him. So it was very rewarding to hear this!”

Her own children have been deeply impacted by the life-stories of children less fortunate than themselves – so much that Emma’s 15-year-old daughter wants to go into social care.

Emma said: “I can't really make up for what the children have lost and what they've grieved for. It's not actually what they've lost. It's what they feel they should have had and what they deserve.

“But I can try my hardest to make life better for them and make things nice for them whilst they’re in my home.