12:50PM, Friday 15 November 2013
Foster carers are encouraging more people to take up fostering as part of the Royal Borough's new scheme.
Catherine, 44, and her husband Simon, 41, have been fostering for seven years.
So far they have taken in 11 children on short-term placements, as well as various relief care placements.
The couple, who live in the Royal Borough, became interested in fostering after speaking to close friends who were foster carers.
"We were struck by a story they told us about a boy they were caring for and we thought it was something we wanted to pursue," Catherine explained.
"We have two children of our own, we both come from big families and we wanted to help other children who had not been given the good start to life that we were given."
Both Catherine and Simon, who specialise in adopting children under four, find life as foster carers extremely rewarding.
They often adopt more than one child at a time, whether they are siblings or children from different families.
"Emotionally it can take you to places you never thought existed", Catherine said.
"The most challenging thing is seeing how damaged a child can be when they come into care, even a newborn baby can suffer trauma from being removed from their mother at birth.
"I don't think anything can prepare you for that, but being able to love and care for that child, that is why you do it."
The husband and wife team show no signs of slowing down and are hoping to keep on fostering for many years to come.
"Seeing a child from the day they arrive to the day they leave us and to see how they develop and grow is fantastic and satisfying," Catherine said.
"When they leave us, some of them go back to their birth families and others are adopted, but either way it is amazing to be a part of that journey."
Could you be a foster carer?
It has launched a new fostering strategy, and the search is on to find people from all walks of life who can help.
Foster carers can be married or single, employed or unemployed, and do not have to be a home owner as long as their accommodation has a spare room.
Anyone interested is welcome to attend an open event on Monday, November 25, between 7-9pm at Maidenhead Town Hall, where they can meet council staff and existing foster carers.
For more information call 01628 683201.
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