Sam and Mark are a married couple who started fostering when their own son was six.
the foster family
Sam and Mark began fostering five years ago when Sam was working in a school.
“I met a young lad in one of the classes, who was going through a tough time and needed my support. Of course, there’s only so much support you can give in school, but I knew if I was to become a foster carer, I could give that support in my home, with my family.”
Having already had a child of their own, Sam and Mark saw fostering as an opportunity to provide support for children who really needed it.
“We’re fostering two sisters at the moment. They’re 15 and 13. The Foster Wales Monmouthshire team asked us if we could care for both. We thought about how they would feel if they were separated – we couldn’t bear the thought of separating them.”
“they needed someone to take an interest in them, someone to listen.”
The children Sam and Mark care for didn’t have a stable home environment, and they needed it.
“They used to stay out all day, whatever the weather. It took them time to feel safe and secure with us.”
But the couple knew these children needed more than just a home – they needed to be shown what love, care and commitment look like, too.
“Just giving them a home wasn’t going to make everything better. They needed someone to take an interest in them, someone to listen. You can’t parent them in the same way as you parent your own children because your children haven’t been through the trauma they’ve been through.”
“they’re a team. we’re a team too”
Keeping the siblings together was really important to Sam and Mark, and it was important to our local Monmouthshire team too. Looking back, everyone agrees it couldn’t have happened any other way.
“We’ve had some difficult times, but the good days outweigh the bad. Now, they’re involved in sports, music, and their confidence is building every day. Looking back, I’m so proud of what they’ve achieved. I’m not sure they would have achieved or progressed half as much if they had been separated. They’re a team. We’re a team, too.”
want to start your own fostering story?
If Sam and Mark’s story has inspired you to make a difference by becoming a foster carer, we’d love to welcome you to our team. We can’t wait to hear from you.
want to learn more?
Find out more about fostering and what it could mean for you.
Our fostering success stories are based on the real-life experiences of Local Authority Foster Carers in Wales. To protect their privacy, and the privacy of the children and young people to whom they provide care, love and support, all the names have been changed and actors have stepped in to help us tell their amazing stories.