WHAT seems to most as an extraordinary feat to open your home to a child in need is anything but for these foster carers.
The concept of fostering can be seen as a worthy one but to many they simply believe it is too much for them as they work, are disabled, single or in a same sex relationship.
But with Fostering Fortnight a week away Warrington Fostering Service want to let people know there is much more for you to gain through the experience.
The Warrington Guardian has been talking to foster carers who have opened their homes to children in need.
To find out more about fostering opportunities visit warringtonfostering.co.uk.
Jackie and Bob Smith, aged 57 and 63 and from Woolston have four foster children - including three sisters with an age range from six to 15.
Jackie said: “We have been fostering for six years - two years for Warrington and four years with an agency.
“We got involved with fostering because we our next door neighbour was fostering and the children were always round with us.
“With our children with us, who are on long term placements, during their time with us their confidence has gone through the roof.
“All they need are the building blocks for the rest of their life.”
Bob added: “We took them on holiday twice last year and at one moment I heard this couple who we didn’t know saying “look at them, don’t they look lovely” at our four girls. It was a very proud moment.
“Our youngest son Jason said you have done some amazing things in life but this has to be the best that you have ever done.
“For seven years we went on holiday as a couple and all we did was walk a bit and not much else. Now on holiday with the girls every day is an adventure. I have got my fun back.”
Sandra Whitfield, aged 53 and from Dallam is disabled and a single foster carer. She has been caring for a teenager since signing up more than a year ago.
Sandra said: “My daughter moved out and I was on my own and the house was empty so I thought I could give something to others.
“I heard the advert on the radio and thought I would go for it. I’m disabled so thought I couldn’t do it but you can.
“When she came to me she very rarely went to school, now she’s in school and her grades have increased. And now she goes to school with a smile on her face whereas before she said she wouldn’t go.
“My son lives in Leamington Spa but they talk to each other all the time. My daughter said I know I said I wanted a younger sister but didn’t expect to get one who is a teenager straight away.”
Adele Prescott and Collette Hamid, aged 42 and 55, and from Leigh are a couple who have been fostering for almost 10 years.
Adele said: “We got into it through kinship fostering within the family. We had two children for six months.
“We did a good job and enjoyed it and thought we could offer a child what they wanted.”
The couple tend to offer more short term placements and have looked after 15 children during that time.
Adele said: “The hardest part is letting go but you know you have done that child a world of good.”
Collette added: “We have had quite a few children with us and they keep in touch - it helps you to keep going.”