UK News

‘We had a lot of love to give’ – County Durham host family helps young girl find her way in the world UK News

A family who became nannies after becoming “empty nesters” spoke of their journey to inspire others to provide a child with a loving home.

Sue Webb and her husband Andrew began their welcoming journey after significant changes in their circumstances.

The couple’s daughter left home to go to college, and when Sue’s mother fell ill, they took early retirement to care for her.

When she sadly passed away, the “empty nesters” were left with much more free time.

The Webbs, who are in their 50s, had not planned for their daughter to be an only child and contacted the Durham County Council intake department in July of last year.

“We had a lot of time and a lot of love to give,” said Sue, who had first considered fostering with Andrew when their daughter started school, but “it never did. seemed like the perfect time. “

They took the necessary training and were eventually accepted to foster, much to their joy.

The Webbs were assigned a foster social worker and on home visits learned about the support that would be available to them in County Durham, and also began to gain insight into the range of children with need a family.

Sue said, “We didn’t mind where they came from if they needed care, we were happy to give it.”

The Webbs were introduced to a nine-year-old girl in need of a home.

Sue said, “Sometimes you just have a feeling – my husband and I both had that feeling.

“My husband and I looked at each other, we both knew.

The girl moved in with the family at the end of February.

“She fits in so well and gets along really well with our daughter. Same type of interests. She is just a loving, polite and intelligent little girl. We just took it right away.

“We just give her the time and our attention, that’s what she needs – and we love it,” Sue added.

Of course, as with any growing youngster, there are sometimes problems starting up.

But the couple have been supported by the Durham County Council intake service, which provides a social worker to support Sue, Andrew and their daughter and another to support their child in foster care.

If the couple needs additional support, they can access therapeutic services, specialist nurses and education professionals.

Sue said, “It wouldn’t be natural if everything was coated in sugar, there will always be bumps along the way. We have the support, we have the professionals behind us. There is support for you every step of the way.

“She will be with us until she makes her way into the world.”

Sue Webb and her husband Andrew

Sue encourages anyone who thinks they can help a child give it a try.

She said, “If you are interested in promotion and have the time, love, energy, and space in your home, give it a try.

“At least educate yourself and talk to the professionals and see what they say. I don’t regret it for a second.

Durham County Council supports the Foster Care Fortnight, which runs May 10-23, organized by the promotional charity The Fostering Network.

The council urgently needs more foster families, with more than 900 children currently in some form of care in County Durham.

On average, a child in care will move ten times before their 18th birthday, and the board is looking for families, couples and individuals who can provide a stable and loving home.

Helen Milliken, the council’s director of promotion, said it was wonderful to hear how much Sue and Andrew enjoy promoting promotion.

She added, “There are a lot of myths about promoting, including that you have to be ‘young’, but as the Webbs showed in their 50s, age is not a barrier.

“Relationship status and sexuality don’t matter either, we would love to hear from a wide range of people who would like to know more about foster care.

“It’s important to note that this is not a journey you take on your own – we’ll be there to provide training and support once a child is with you. We are very happy to answer questions that everyone has about the promotion. Please contact us if you are interested. “

To inquire about the promotion with Durham County Council, call 03000 269 400 or email: