Jackie and Magnus’ Story
Jackie and her husband Magnus have been fostering with Fostering First Ireland since 2007. Jackie explains how fostering has given her a new outlook on life:
“Before we began fostering, I was running my own nursing home which meant I couldn’t spend the time I wanted to with my family. The years were passing by and I felt I was losing out on so many aspects of family life. After we closed the nursing home we put it on the market but were unable to sell it. So instead, we decided to stay put and convert our 16-bedroom nursing home into a family home. It was a decision that has changed our lives forever”.
Having been foster carers with us for many years, the family have a desire to look after more children who deserve to be part of a stable, caring and secure family unit. With three birth children of their own and three foster children in placement, the couple recognise that every child is an individual with different needs. “When the children first come into our family home they often suffer from huge emotional issues but to see them overcome these traumas and thrive both socially and academically is just amazing. Last year we enjoyed a family holiday together in Wexford and, for me, this was a milestone for us all. The children respect having guidelines and they have learned that there are boundaries and routines to follow which in turn give them a sense of security, direction and expectation”.
“Working with FFI has been great. The support structures and training programmes have played a key part in gearing us up for the fostering task. There is always someone at the end of the phone to offer professional advice and ensure we have the tools to do the job”.
“I wish more people would come forward and consider fostering. I think that because there is a lack of understanding and people worry that things might go wrong, they don’t bother to find out more. We’ve been overwhelmed by the changes we have seen in the children we care for. To make such a positive difference to their lives is what it is all about”.
“It is just wonderful being a foster carer and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. Yes it can be challenging picking through the different emotions which the children bring with them, but the rewards outweigh any of this”.