Four years ago Jenny's family took in their first foster child. Eight children later she shares her story with us.
One evening Jenny cautiously mentioned the idea of fostering to her husband. They already had three children of their own, but having run a pre-school for 15 years she had seen how early intervention made a huge difference. She had no idea how he would react, but was optimistic.
In the UK alone 70,000 children are in foster care each day, a number which fluctuates as children are moved to the homes of relatives, adoptive families, or back with their biological parents. Although over 56,000 people welcome foster children each year, there's still an urgent need for more - the maths isn't hard to work out!
The day that Jenny broached the subject with her husband, she had no idea what he'd say. But to her surprise he had already saved a programme about fostering that he wanted them to watch together, because he had been thinking the same thing.
Fast-forward to their first placement and Jenny said they were nervous. What would it be like to look after a child who wasn't biologically your own? How would her children feel about it? How would it be saying goodbye when permanent homes were found?
After a lot of firsts - meetings with professionals, the paperwork, learning the Local Authority acronyms, and getting used to goodbyes (they never get any easier, but they've learnt to cope better each time), their journey progressed and eight foster children later they haven't looked back.
And as for reusable nappies, Jenny had a bit of a head-start. She used to run a cloth nappy library and used reusables on two of her children, so she was already aware of their benefits. Then when it came to her foster children she didn't think twice, as not only do they save money but she never runs out or is caught out by not having the right size, and with short notice placements that can easily happen. They also hold heart-warming memories. Each time a nappy gets used on a new child, it brings back memories of the children in her care who have been in it before.
You can foster part-time, short-term and permanently. If you would like to find out more about fostering do talk to your Local Authority, and here's a couple of online places to start: