Leaving the Armed Forces can result in a sudden change of lifestyle. A big part of this can be finding something to fill the void, whether this is a new career or something to keep you busy in retirement. Many ex-service personnel don’t realise that there is a different ‘frontline’ out there that can be similarly challenging, and rewarding, and can also utilise your transferable skills from armed forces training.
The vast majority of children – around three-quarters – who are in care, currently live with foster families. That’s around 64,000 children and young people living with 55,000 foster families every day. Fostering is a crucial role, sometimes giving these children their first positive experience of family life. Foster carers provide care and stability, not just a roof over children’s heads, for as long as a child needs it – sometimes just a few days, other times for a whole childhood. They are child care experts who get ongoing training and support to ensure children have the best possible chance at leading a normal, happy life.
There are hundreds of foster carers in the UK with experience of the armed forces. Many say it is the perfect ‘next step’ after a career in the forces and some even foster while they are still in service. There is a misconception that, due to the nature of the work, fostering could be impossible to manage alongside serving, but there are many success stories, along with many examples of retired personnel finding a new calling.