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Foster carer builds relationship with young person through shared interest in sport

27th September 2021

Willie and Linda began their fostering journey over two years ago. The couple, who have two grown up children, wished to share their experience of being parents with children who need to be looked after.  They currently provide long term care for an 11 year old boy and have also provided some short breaks care.

“The young person we care for had the opportunity to receive some information about us before our initial meeting and we feel this really helped break down barriers in the initial stages. When we met him for the first time, we already knew there was a common interest in football as he and Willie both support Liverpool FC. This shared interest enabled us to make an instant connection with him so that broke the ice and helped us to build a relationship in the very early stages,” said Linda.

They enjoy attending football matches together and were due to go to England to see a match last year when it was cancelled due to COVID. It remains something they hope to do together at some stage in the future.

“Sport and physical activity has been really positive for our physical and emotional wellbeing, relationship building, and has meant we spend quality time together outdoors. As well as football, we enjoy going cycling together and have had the satisfaction and enjoyment of supporting the young person to develop his skills and confidence in this area. We also found that having pets helped to build a relationship with the young person and he recently got a number of hens and really enjoys the responsibility of caring for them,” Willie added.

Willie continued: “Having the opportunity to watch the young person grow and develop and make progress in so many ways over the past two years has been something we have really enjoyed. I could talk about him all day the joy he brings us. If you are interested in fostering don’t let the thought of the assessment process put you off and while there can be challenges, we have found fostering to be very worthwhile and beneficial. We can’t imagine our lives without him and couldn’t be more thankful that we thought about fostering.”

Willie and Linda, HSC foster carers