A COUPLE have been recognised for a decade of fostering care saying the experience has had a lasting and positive impact on their family.

Emma Price, 40, and husband Martin, 42, who live in Chorley, have been carers with Foster Care Associates (FCA) for the past 10 years. They have been recognised for their dedication with a special award.

Emma said it had been an ‘eye-opening’ decade for the couple and their own two children but also ‘hugely rewarding’.

She said: “What we have done is open ourselves and our family up to a world that we would not have seen otherwise.

“We now have a better appreciation of it and so do my children. My son was just three and my daughter five when we started this journey so they have grown up with it.

“I firmly believe that they would not have become the lovely young people they are without the appreciation and understanding they have developed through fostering.”

For Emma and Martin fostering seemed a natural career choice having met while they were both doing church and youth work.

“Fostering also made sense for everything that we believe ethically about helping other people,” Emma explained.

“It is extremely rewarding and we are different people for having had these young people in our lives.”

FCA is currently looking to tackle a shortfall of carers in the UK, which according to the Fostering Network stands at 8,600.

Emma said people interested in the role have to be prepared.

She said: “I’ve been helping with training new foster carers and I think it is important to be realistic with them. It is rewarding being a foster carer but your life is changed by it.

“It is a career not a hobby and it is hard.”

The FCA can be contacted on 0800 023 4561.