Suzie's fostering journey

Suzie has fostered 25 children over the 12 years that she has been an approved Wandsworth foster carer.

Suzie is a single carer and has a 16 year old daughter, who enjoys being a foster sister to younger children. Suzie says: "She is just great! She especially loves the babies and is like a big sister with them."

Most of the children Suzie cares for are young and more often than not move on to permanent fostering or adoptive families. Suzie says: "It is hard to let go. But with those who you are able to keep in touch it is just amazing meeting up. It makes my day, people say my face lights up! They are part of my family and I have watched them grow. I see the seeds we planted as a family and how their characters have developed. It is so rewarding to see just how well they are doing."

In Suzie's opinion, the training and mentoring Wandsworth provides makes a real difference. She says: "Wandsworth training is fantastic. I have learnt something new on every course I have attended. But it does not matter how much training you do, you will always get a child with a quality you have not experienced before. It is a continual learning process."

Suzie also mentors new foster carers caring for children with special educational needs and passes on her experience to help them understand it more easily.

"The power of mentoring is incredible. Through collaboration I am able to normalise what another foster carer may assume is a difficult situation only occurring in their home."

Suzie recognises that fostering can at times be difficult. "Some of the children I have looked after have presented challenging behaviour. The children are testing you... don't give up. When you see them smile, laugh and play with their friends, you realise the difference you are making in their lives."