My morning starts just like everybody else's. I wake up and start to wonder about what I have to do that day. The difference is I'm already at work.

I am available to be called on at any time to help our foster children cope with a nightmare, to comfort them when they get upset and just to be a parent to them.  Fostering is supporting a child or young person with something that they may have not even experienced before.

Being a foster carer can be a very challenging job, but also can be the most rewarding, and it is great to see young people develop into young adults ready to go forward on their own. Hoping I've enabled them to make good decisions, and supplied them with the skills that they will use throughout adulthood, which they may not have been able to do without someone's support. I was able to grow within my fostering career through ongoing training and support from both other carers and professionals.

I have been a foster carer for 8 years now. At first we did respite for those who needed a bed for the night in an emergency and short term placement now, I foster two lads who showed challenging behaviour in the early years but are great young teenage boys now.

So, the days starts with getting the boys breakfast then get them off to school. Now time for me to get ready and see what my timetable is for the day

This could be a day for me or a meeting with the school, training or a meeting with social services. After this it will soon be the end of the school day, and there's dinner to prepare and, after that, there will be homework to help with, dirty PE kit to wash, the usual! Pretty much like a normal family really. 

Soon the house is bustling with noise and activity again, and so I ask, how did school go today? Just spending time asking these questions, allowing the children to answer in their own words, being interested in their day ... sometimes that's all I need to do to show them that I care.

At dinner we chat about them and things we can do to make life better and what they would like in their packed lunch next day or tomorrows dinner. Soon it’s time to sort out homework and off to bed.

For me it’s been an interesting journey watching two young lads develop into such polite young men. One is a national gymnast the other a drummer.

Rebecca Elsip