Krish Kandiah tells us of the rewards of fostering
"He was crying when he arrived and he was crying when he left. But during the nine months in between there has been so much joy and laughter in our home that an enormous hole has been left behind. The house feels strangely empty despite there still being six of us who live here.
"We don’t hear the shouts of ‘Awesome! Awesome!’ coming from the garden anymore that he used to shout as he raced around on his little bike. We don’t see those big, brown eyes and gorgeous smile getting wider and wider as we introduce him to the joys of camping, the car wash or kite-flying. We miss the spontaneous giggles as another toy car disappears under the sofa. There is no constant chatter from the playroom reminding us how he could barely talk when he arrived and how he could barely stop talking for a second when he left.
"Foster care can be a heartbreaking experience as love and affection are poured into the lives of children who have often suffered neglect and abuse, and just as that love and affection begin to be returned, the time comes for them to move into their permanent homes. As our last little charge drove away with tears in his eyes, there were also tears in ours.
"My wife and I have been fostering for the past seven years and have found it one of the most difficult yet rewarding things we do as a family. It’s heart-breaking to hear the tragic circumstances many of the children who have come into our care have come from, but it is an incredible privilege to play some part in helping these children.
"Our experience has been mainly with babies and primary school children. We are emergency and short-term carers but that that has meant we have looked after children from a 24-hour period all the way up to three and half years. It is very difficult to say good bye to the children we care for and have come to love as part of our family. But there is a lot of comfort knowing that we have made a positive difference to their lives. We are also very honoured to still hear from most of the children that we have fostered.
"There is sacrifice and there is satisfaction in foster care, but we do it not because of the way it makes us feel. We foster because there are 89,000 children in care in the UK who have all experienced trauma of some kind, and need a home and love and help. The numbers are overwhelming but, one child at a time, together we can make a difference. Why don’t you consider getting “in the frame” and make a difference in someone’s life through fostering?"