Josh (9) lived with his Auntie Karen from 5 months old when his mother passed away. He was taken into care when he was 7 when it was felt his auntie was not coping due to a drink problem. Josh has strong ties to his auntie and 5 siblings. His age and family links would make an adoptive placement difficult for Josh.  Josh experienced a lack of routines and adult supervision at his aunties home and frequently missed school.  Josh sometimes found it hard to manage his feelings.
Since Josh has been living with Liz and Coleen his school has reported a massive change in his ability to focus and make and maintain friendships. Josh has been accessing support in school to help him understand his losses and manage his own feelings. Liz and Coleen were approved in 2012 as his long term carers.
Josh Said: “The best thing about living with Liz and Coleen is I get to go to football every week. When we go camping I get to take Ruby (our dog) out for walks. It is also good that Maddy lets me use her play station. I want to stay with Liz and Coleen and Maddy as they look after me and take me to see Auntie Karen’
Liz and Coleen started fostering in 2008 as respite carers.
“I was still working and we weren’t sure how fostering would work around our family commitments. It was a good start for us and helped our daughter Maddy get used to having other children in the house. We quickly realised that we were in fact looking to extend our family. Through discussion with our worker we realised that Long term Fostering was a better fit for us.”
“Maddy was happy as long as the child was younger than her. Josh joined us two years ago and we have become quite the little gang. It is hard to imagine life without him.”
“Our family feels like the missing part is now there and it is great knowing Maddy has someone other than us. Josh is a little treat. He was very lively when he arrived. But we steadily let him know how things work in our house and he began to catch on.”
Maddy (12 year old Daughter)
“Sometimes it can feel like your family is very busy with meetings, looking after the children and social workers visiting the house.  But you get used to it.”
“My mum’s have always made sure that we always had time together. I am proud knowing my family is helping children be safe and sometimes find a new family. ”
“At the sons and daughter group I get to talk about how it feels. Now it has been agreed that Josh is staying it is a bit different not so much change. But it I still like to talking to other people my age who get what it is like.”