Our longest serving Foster Carers David and Andrew are retiring from fostering after 18 years with Credo Care to start a new life in Spain.
When they joined us, they had fostered with a local authority for almost 8 years, providing placements for children of all needs and ages, but amongst them they cared for one special little boy who made an impression on them. It was then that they decided to specialise in caring for children who have additional needs. They had previously worked in adult social care and were very experienced in caring for adults with disabilities so this was a natural step for them
Although they didn't care for a high number of children during their fostering career with us, they provided an excellent long-term home for 6 children which high medical needs. Three boys stayed with them until adulthood and lived far longer than doctors predicted. They remained with the couple becoming a "shared lives" placement for adults who live with families in the community. The young men continued their education and went to college when they were well enough.
Their first foster placement was a young man with Duchennes Muscular and he lived until he was 26. I remember when he arrived at their home, he was able to shuffle and hold a cup to drink. Over the years, he slowly succumbed to his illness and eventually became immobile. What was incredible is that how David and Andrew were able to understand his communication with his eyes, he had a cheeky smile and warmed everyones hearts.
The couple continued to add to their foster family and over the years were joined by 4 other young people with high needs and they also adopted a daughter who sadly passed away.
David and Andrew have had their fair share of laughter and heartache, they have spent weeks on end in hospital when the children were admitted, traveled up and down to London Paediatric Hospitals for appointments, stayed up all night to sit with one of the children when they have been gravely ill.
It's impossible to summarise what these very dedicated carers have done to change the lives of the children who have been privileged to be cared by them. They have been mentors to other foster carers and supported them when needed and been a listening ear to share ideas and feedback about Credo Care service development.
Unfortunately due to the social distancing rules we have been unable to say farewell together with other carers and staff. I was able to enjoy a garden visit with them yesterday and presented a retirement clock and Amazon voucher.
We will miss you guys - have a fantastic new life in Spain and we look forward to keeping in touch through Facebook and look forward to meeting up again.
Roy Hipkiss, Director