Last week we featured some top tips about becoming a foster carer in Bolton.

The Bolton fostering team offered some help and advice to anyone wanting to give a foster child a new home, making the process appear a little less daunting and more accessible.

If you have a safe and loving family home life and want to dedicate your time to taking care of babies, children and young people in foster care in the area, there is no need to feel worried or anxious about the application process.

Lynette Martin and her husband Andy have been fostering in this country for the past four years having fostered on and off in Africa since 1989.

The couple have used Bolton Council fostering team’s support system working with network partners to ensure they are providing a safe place for foster children in their care.

Here are some of Lynette’s top tips for being a successful foster carer:

• Make the most of the support system as it’s there to help you. You are definitely not classed as a failure if you ask for help or advice. That’s what the fostering team is there for. Someone is always at the other end of the phone or email and it often helps to jot things down and get them off your chest.

• Try and understand the challenges that each child is facing and be mindful of these. They will have their own social worker, who they meet regularly with, and you will have your own support social worker as well, who will liaise with each other to ensure each child is receiving the best care possible. We couldn’t do the job without them and they are all there to guide us and our foster children every day.

• Be interested in the children and learn from them. It can be hard for a child coming into a stranger’s home and they aren’t sure whether they will like it. They may even want to go back home so you will need to have empathy and show understanding in each situation. There’s no right way or easy way of doing things but a bit of practice and perseverance goes a long way. I’ve learnt new skills from the children I’ve had in my care, from new technology to music to hair braiding skills. One on one time each day can be beneficial for both sides.

• You can still work as well as being a foster carer but foster caring itself is an extremely rewarding career.

• Attend the training courses as these are updated all the time. At the moment, these are done online and virtually but the e-learning courses are great and it’s good to be able to learn from other carers as well.

Lynette said: “I have enjoyed every minute of being a foster carer and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.

“We do it for the love of the children and we want to guide them through life after a difficult beginning, showing them that there is a way out and there are people in this world who will care about you and look after them.

“The Bolton fostering team has been so supportive and I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Help to create childhood memories for youngsters in foster care

This Is Lancashire:

Fostering is a way of giving children and young people some memorable experiences that they may never have done before and a chance to enjoy their childhood.

Building a sandcastle on the beach, enjoying an ice cream in the sunshine or going on a picnic are all simple pleasures that some youngsters have missed out on.

Maybe your own children have grown up and flown the nest but you still want to create these memories for other children in care.

Or perhaps you want a foster child to join your own family on holidays or day trips and experience some of these treats.

Now could be the right time for you to become a foster carer in Bolton.

For more information about becoming a foster career visit www.bolton.gov.uk/fostering, email fostering@bolton.gov.uk or call 0800 107 1564.