Noel and Florence Goudie

Western Trust carersL-R: Noel Goudie, carer, Michael McGimpsey, former Health Minister, Florence Goudie, carer, Clare McCallion, social work manager & Pat Armstrong, Head of Fostering in Western Trust

Florence and Noel Goudie are foster carers have been fostering for around 20 years. They currently have a teenage boy living with them. ”

After our children moved out we had more space and time on our hands so we decided to consider fostering” says Florence. “We’ve now fostered lots of different children and all have been rewarding. For example; it’s the simple things that make a difference, like making sure they go to school. We had one boy with us who went on to become Head Boy which was a real achievement both for him and us. Whatever your circumstances, there are so many different children in need of foster care and the Fostering Teams would make sure you are suitably matched. Anyone should consider it” she continues.

Speaking about the rewards of fostering Noel says: “We have found the rewards of fostering in the little things as well as the vast improvements that we see in children after a time in our care. It was a real highlight for us when one of our foster children achieved so well in school.” Noel also notices that his foster children not only bloom emotionally but physically which helps them achieve more in their lives.

“The support from our linkworker is excellent. If we ever need anything for the children she has helped to get this” he says. The couple are confident that their linkworker will ensure that their needs as carers are not forgotton. They also feel supported by the child’s social worker at present. They have learned over the years that the children are entitled to a good service and they advocate for them through the Trust’s social workers.

“The fostering task is not without its challenges” says Noel. Sometimes the couple have experienced emergency placements which have been challenging but “overall fostering is part of our lives now and we have developed good friendships with other carers as a result” he adds.