Debbie has been fostering for 28 years with her husband Dave. Since appearing in a supporting role on the reality TV show almost eight years ago, she has amassed quite a following from fans due to her charismatic, nurturing nature and fun-loving attitude. Debbie has been careful to keep her fostering off-screen, although speaks with huge passion and adoration about the role whilst admitting there are challenging aspects as well.
Speaking to the MailOnline, Debbie said;
‘It’s much harder to unlearn behaviours than to learn them. If you don’t get a child until they’re 10 (years old), sometimes you can break through and sometimes you can’t…you know the child is going to have a difficult life, but they have to go through that journey to become the person they’ll be in later life. You have to remember you are just part of their journey…the number one thing you have to be is flexible’.
‘The hardest thing is when you have to give up babies, when you take a baby from a week old, (and) a year or 18 months later they have to move on, that’s heart breaking. I’m 57 now, so I started fostering 27-28 years ago, my kids were both babies. For us it’s our lifestyle, all four of my kids don’t know any different, they're used to sharing their mum and dad…my relationship with Dave has been very like that, we’ve been very involved in caring, the pair of us’.
Family Care speak to many people who want to become a foster carer. It’s often something that people say they’ve thought about for a long time before registering their interest, but not Debbie!
‘I never really heard of fostering, my belief is people think too much about it and overthink it too much. You will probably be told by professionals you have to (think about it a lot). For me, when you overthink things you make them more complicated than they are’.
That’s not to say Debbie doesn’t appreciate the demands of the role and the commitment required – physically and emotionally.
‘It’s something you’ve got to be passionate about, wake up every morning and get fulfilment out of it, giving something back. Mentally you shouldn’t put an age group on it, physically I’m able, I’ve got a baby in placement! I’m able to do swimming, two-hour feeds, if I got to an age where I couldn’t do that then physically I would have to stop (fostering babies).
Family Care are currently recruiting foster carers in Lancashire, Manchester and the Midlands area. If you think you could #GiveSomethingBack then enquire about fostering today and find out about the "world of difference" you can make!
Matt Holmes – Referrals and Recruitment Coordinator at Family Care Group
0800 5 677 677