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Hughie and Audrey
“One Father's Day I got a card from them, which said:
'To Dad, Thank you, without you we would still be in the gutter but just look at us now.'
"I treasure that card; it chokes me now to think about it just as it did then. You cannot buy a feeling like I got from that little note in the card.”
Hughie and his wife Audrey have been fostering for almost 20 years. Their birth children had left home and they were left with a big empty house so they decided to start fostering. Hughie and Audrey now care for teenagers on a long-term basis in Wakefield.
Hughie says: "We are older now and like the fact that most teenagers have skills that enable them to do things for themselves. There are so many emotional rewards to fostering: it’s often tiny things that represent such big steps forward for our children and make it all worthwhile.
"For example, we fostered 13 year-old twin girls. Their dad had died and their mum had learning difficulties. They had become a bit wild and not been to school, and were very reluctant to surrender any of their independence. We worked hard with them and between them they obtained 21 GCSEs and both went on to college."
"Being a foster carer in Wakefield is great. There are support groups where all the foster carers get together and have a natter, and I have my own support worker who's wonderful."
Sue has been fostering for 22 years with her husband. They have their own children but they are all grown up and Sue missed the feeling of being needed so they started fostering.
Sue and her husband have fostered children of all ages but now look after babies up to 18 months.
Sue says: "I take great pleasure in watching the babies reach milestones and being a foster carer makes me feel needed and has amazing rewards. It takes commitment and you need to have a love of children, as well as a sense of humour!"