Fostering can make a huge impact on the world
TOWIE star Lydia Bright reveals how living in a house with hundreds of foster children wasn’t always easy but she knew no different and feels blessed to have been a part of fostering, seeing the huge impact it has on the world.
Lydia’s mother Debbie Douglas decided to become a foster carer when Lydia’s eighteen-year-old sister turned one, and she was pregnant with Lydia. She had started life as a career girl, as a fashion buyer for the famously known brand ‘Debenhams’ but wanted to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable children and young people.
It hasn’t always been easy
Being a part of fostering has not always been easy for Lydia but she wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. “My childhood was somewhat different to the ‘norm… I can think of more than one occasion (well hundreds really) when I have just wanted to run away…but for the hundreds of poor memories, there have always been one million precious, pure and positive to contradict them… it was absolutely incredible and I am so grateful. I have met some amazing children and people throughout my life and being a foster sister really made me value the important things in life.”
Fostering sculpted who I am today
In her BAAF blog Lydia says how fostering sculpted who she is today: “I have always believed that our personalities are a mixture of our environment, upbringing and our parents. I believe that without my mother’s influence of her career, I would not be aware of how drugs destroy families, how alcohol addiction can devastate homes, and how desperate children can be for a mother and a father. Fostering has developed me into a gentle, accepting and understanding person. It has taught me never to stereotype an individual, and accept people for who they are.”
Lydia and her mother Debbie Douglas are now launching an appeal for more foster carers to meet the ever increasing number of children coming into care. With an estimated 92,000 children in care and a further 8,600 more foster carers desperately needed across the UK they urge more people to come forward to provide stable, loving homes for some of society’s most vulnerable children.
Foster carers come from all walks of life. Fostering Agencies do not exclude anyone from consideration on the grounds of marital status, sexual orientation, disability or employment status. What is important is that you have a room to spare, love, patience, dedication and a sense of humour!
Make the step, make a difference
Of course taking a vulnerable child under your wing is not all plain sailing. There are some trying times. Children in care have often come from very difficult situations and may have experienced neglect, abuse and inadequate parenting. As a result they can display challenging behaviour and be very withdrawn. However you are fully trained and supported to be the best foster carer you can be and with the help of a foster carer foster children can make small steps toward a brighter future! Foster carers can transform the future of the children in their care and teach them their own parenting skills for later life. As Debbie Douglas recalls, “Once I took the decision to become a foster carer I didn’t look back.”
Lydia aptly concludes: “We are all part of one world, one family. God put us on earth to make a difference. What better way to make a difference than to foster?”