At Home with Carol Vorderman 2013 - (Page 218)
LOUISE GROVES, 37, FROM COLCHESTER, ESSEX,
WAS BORN WITHOUT A WOMB BUT ALWAYS HAD A
DEEP MATERNAL INSTINCT EVER SINCE HER OWN PAINFUL
CHILDHOOD. IN 2004 SHE TURNED TO FOSTERING AND
HAD FOSTERED 19 CHILDREN BY THE AGE OF 31
eople ask if I ﬁnd
it hard fostering on
my own as a single
woman who likes
to go for walks with
her dog or out for
meals and socialise with friends,
but I say it doesn’t matter. It is
something I was born to do. I’ve
never had a womb, so have known
since I was young I wouldn’t be able
to have my own birth child.
‘What makes my need to nurture
children so embedded within me
is also driven by the unexpected
deaths of my own family. I was sent
into foster care aged 14 after my
mother died of a brain haemorrhage
and my father, who had been
divorced from my mum, committed
suicide two years afterwards.
‘I was sent to boarding school to
ﬁnish my studies but then a further
devastating blow came at aged 16,
when my brother Patrick also
‘Having experienced amazing
foster parents myself, I felt a deep
longing and a sense of compassion
to help children in care who might
be in a similar situation.
‘I married at 18 and, within three
years, my husband and I started
talking about fostering. Sadly it was
around that time our marriage
218 | JUNE 2013
dissolved. I still knew that fostering
was something I had to do, but that
I’d now have to wait until I was
ﬁnancially and emotionally ready.
That happened a few years later,
when I was 26.
‘I went online and contacted
my local authority fostering
recruitment department. I wasn’t
EIGHTY PER CENT
OF CHILDREN IN
a typical foster-parent candidate
– a single, young unmarried
CARE LIVE WITH
woman – but Social Services sent
me an information pack, invited
THAT IS 59,000!
me to an open night and then
continued with a home assessment.
From there, it was decided I could
proceed to the ‘skills to foster’ course
– which incidentally I now teach.
‘After a full year I was accepted as
a suitable foster parent for newborns
up to 18 year olds. I cried when
a panel told me I’d been accepted
– I just wished my own mum could
have been there to see it.
‘I remember feeling intense nerves
and also immense love when my ﬁrst
child came into my care. But having
been fostered myself, perhaps I also
had more insight as to what to
expect. I changed my whole house
into a place children would love,
decorating all the bedrooms so
they were child-friendly and buying
wardrobes, drawers and quilt covers.
I want every child who walks in to
feel they deserve the best in life, and
nice bedrooms are a big part of that.
‘My friends have been like
extended family members and,
touchingly, even send welcome cards
to the kids who arrive at my door.
I bought a welcome gift for my ﬁrst
child, but now I prefer to give the
kids something when they leave. I’m
into craft and create items relating
to our shared treasured memories.
‘I love singing along to the radio
with the kids in the car and snacking
on pizzas in front of a DVD. My
friends and I take the kids bowling,
roller skating and to the cinema.
‘That’s not to say that it isn’t
a steep upward learning curve.
Children come into my care for all
sorts of reasons. Sometimes it can
be as simple as not having a family
member to take care of them if
a parent becomes ill or is in hospital.
‘I always try to remember the child
is anxious and do my best to be a good
listener and make them feel at home.
‘I have never found it hard to love
any of the children. I may not have
always liked the actions of some
of the ones who’ve had difﬁcult
upbringings, but that doesn’t mean
I love them any less. Ultimately, being
a foster parent makes me happy.’
To ﬁnd out more about becoming a foster
carer, contact your local fostering service,
call Fosterline on 0800 040 7675,
Synergy Fostering on 020 7940 4652
or visit www.synergy-fostering.co.uk ■
WORDS: Wersha Bharadwa | PHOTOGRAPH: Shutterstock
A rewarding role
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of At Home with Carol Vorderman 2013
Rear of the year
Shades of citrus
Good for the sole
Swing by the sixties
All shapes and sizes
Steal her look
The swimwear round
A moment with Carol
Beaming with pride
What men want
The D word
Keep your flirt on
Sex on fire
Food glorious food
At a pinch
Oiling the meals
Under the grill
Raise a glass
Proceed with caution
Down to the bare bones
Back on track
A sorry sight
20 under £20
How do they do it?
Good job hunting
The golden years
Cash in a flash
Foster the love
Easy as 1, 2, 3?
Those in glass houses
On the tiles
Home safe home
Port of call
Here come the girls
It's a numbers game
Book it in
Up, up and away!
At Home with Carol Vorderman 2013