Children and young people face many challenges as they grow up and often struggle to find their place in the world.

Children who live with foster carers are no different and often need a little bit of extra support to feel settled and safe.

Soon after becoming a foster carer, Ida welcomed Josh and his sister into her home and quickly realised that the nine-year-old was quiet and found it difficult to show his emotions.

He also had an obsession with the internet and over the next few months Ida encouraged the siblings to try new experiences like sports and music, and there was suddenly a massive change in Josh.

As his confidence grew, Josh began to write down his thoughts, feelings and memories on the walls of his bedroom and, while many parents and carers might not want their walls covered in words, Ida knew this was a breakthrough.

She said: “I felt uplifted seeing him confidently express himself in that way.

“I see it [writing on the wall] as a way of taking ownership of his new room as well as recognising and acknowledging his past and present experiences.

“It was wonderful to see the hesitant, quite boy I first met sharing his thoughts and feelings in such a unique way.”

Having worked for NHS for more than 30 years, Ida felt she had skills and experiences to offer children and young people and approached her local council and their fostering team to ask about looking after teenagers and siblings.

Like all foster carers, Ida has the support of a supervising social worker and the wider team, which she describes as invaluable, and together they navigate the “magical mayhem” of fostering.

Ida said: “My fostering journey has been a voyage of discovery for myself and the children.

“I can honestly say that the learning journey I have been on, and I am still on, has been exhausting and exhilarating in equal measure, and I cannot imagine doing anything else.

“I love being a foster carer.”

Josh has continued to flourish in Ida’s care and was nominated for an award with his local council as part of the annual children in care celebration.

He is keen to develop his musical talents that were discovered when he wrote on his bedroom walls and he has even written a song, dedicating it to Ida.

Warrington Guardian:

Added benefits for foster carers with Max Card

As lockdown restrictions continue to ease across England, many parents and carers might be looking for some inspiration and ideas for keeping children and young people looked after, entertained and happy over the summer.

Next week, foster carers will be sharing their top five tips for making the school holidays a little less stressful, but did you know that Foster4 gives all foster carers free membership to Max Card, which allows exclusive access to venues and attractions all over the UK?

Warrington Guardian:

The card provides discounts on days out allowing foster carers to create memories at local and national locations, bringing families closer together.

With 18 months of holidays, day trips and adventures to catch up due to the Covid-19 pandemic the Max Card promises something for everyone.

Foster4 favourites include Quarry Farm Stables, Gulliver’s World and Norton Priory but there are plenty more locations to choose from.

For more information about fostering visit or call 01925 444100.

You can also email or use @foster4cheshire on Facebook and Instagram.