A Lincolnshire social worker shares her experience of growing up in a fostering household
Laura Tyrrell is a social worker in Lincolnshire County Council’s adoption team. Laura’s parents Steve and Tracey Tyrrell have been foster carers for over 20 years, giving Laura first-hand experience of life in a fostering household.
Laura said: “Mum and dad always considered my views and asked my thoughts on children coming to live with us. Of course, my answer was always ‘yes’!
“I remember when our very first little boy was placed with us late at night, and mum and I went to get him some Harry Potter PJs from Tesco because he was only coming with the clothes he had on his back. They were way too big for him, but they had to do!
“I have so many memories of our fostering journey, including holidays abroad with my new brothers and sisters and road trips all singing together in the back of the car. There were also Friday night trips to Skegness for a few rides and a chippy tea – not forgetting an ice cream before coming home – and giggling around the dinner table because something had made us laugh.
“Fostering has taught me how something small actually has a huge impact on the children and young people we look after. We recently had a young person reach out to our family via social media, hoping we had photos of her time with us as she was trying to make sense of her journey. She then wished dad a happy Father’s Day, saying he had been the only father figure she had ever known, which brought us all to tears.
“I like to see fostering as a journey. It’s not always sunshine and daisies, and it certainly has its challenges. However, it’s had a positive impact on me and was the main reason why I decided to become a social worker. Without fostering, I wouldn’t have had so many brothers and sisters, and I wouldn’t have had so many wonderful memories.”
Lincolnshire has a diverse fostering community. Each application to foster is considered on an individual basis and you can be a foster carer regardless of your marital status, sexuality, employment status, ethnicity, or religion. However, you do need to have a spare bedroom for a child or young person to use.
If you think you could foster a child and would like to know more, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/fostering. You can also get in touch with the Lincolnshire fostering service by calling 01522 554114.