Foster family praised after caring for over 50 children
10:02am Friday 18th October 2013 in News
A COUPLE from Dursley have been praised for their fostering efforts – after caring for over 50 children.
Monica and Les Watson from Five Acres clearly still had love to give after raising their own five children, as well as having four grandchildren, and have been fostering for 30 years.
The couple of 44 years have taken on charges for anything from a couple of weeks to a couple of years, ranging in age from babies to toddlers.
“We found our niche in fostering babies. We really enjoy it and enjoy working with their parents. We usually have a lot of contact time with the parents," said Monica, 65.
“Fostering has become a way of life. Our own children grew up with it, became a part of it and enjoyed it. We’re not ready to give up yet. Every time we come to the end of a placement we ask ourselves whether we should stop, then decide to take just one more! There seems to be a real need to foster babies.”
Monica said they had started fostering after losing a child an hour and a half after giving birth.
“Around that time we decided then when the time was right we wanted to be part of the child protection system in some way,” she said.
“Either I was going to look for a job or go into fostering. We have kept going because it becomes part of your life."
Les, 67, is semi-retired from the electricity supply industry and said they had chosen that particular age group because it gave them a better likelihood of interacting with the parents.
“You have to try very hard not to be judgmental. Some of these parents have not had an easy passage,” he said.
“It gives a good structure to your life. You get the worry that, if you stop, what would you do with your life?”
Fostering and support worker at Gloucestershire County Council, Becky Throup, presented the paternal pari with chocolates and flowers at the George Inn in Cambridge where they received a meal, courtesy of Quality Inns.
“This recognises that some foster carers give above and beyond to meet the needs of the child,” said Becky.
“The good thing about Les and Monica is that they commit to the child rather than to a certain timeframe.”
For more information about fostering, call 01242 532654 visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/fostering
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