Buxton carers Lynne Fryer and her husband have been offering a happy home to teenagers since 2009.
Lynne, 51, says they’ve always had a house full of children and it was a natural progression to offer support and guidance to other people’s children too.
She says: “I’ve two step sons and a daughter who was 14 when we started fostering. They have been really supportive of the decision.”
During their time as carers they’ve had four placements, ranging from 14 to 16 years old. Sometimes it has been a short stay and others have been with them for longer.
Both Lynne and her husband Carlton work and they’ve managed to fit fostering in around it. Lynne said: “It can sometimes be a bit hard to juggle the two but we’ve managed it. We’ve have brilliant support from social services and our families.”
Often it is the small things that make a difference to the children they care for.
Lynne says: “It’s things that our own children might take for granted such as going to the seaside, playing board games and other day-to-day family activities.
“We once had a foster child ask for a bucket and spade - she was 15. I had to put my sunglasses on to hide my tears.
“Seeing their faces light up over such simple things gives me a real buzz.”
Lynne and Carlton still stay in contact with all their former foster children, even when not all the placements ended positively.
She says: “We had one young girl stay with us who had a lot of difficulties and it didn’t end on the best note - but she still shouts “I love you” whenever she sees me.
“Fostering can be challenging. Often children come to us who have no boundaries, no life skills and no ability to form proper relationships. They also have problems in school.
“It is up to us to try and support and guide them, which is not always easy. You get a real sense of pride though when you get a school telling you what a difference you have made.”
Foster care fortnight
May 12 to May 25 is National Foster Care Fortnight and Derbyshire County Council is appealing for more people to come forward and foster children and young people in Derbyshire.
We spoke to local carers to find out more about what fostering actually involves and how important it is to offer a stable, happy home to a young person in care.
To find out more about fostering for Derbyshire County Council visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/adoptionandfostering or call 0800 083 77 44 or 01629 533071.