Retiring Foster Carers Ger And Peter O Connor Reminisce On 22 Years Of Fostering

After fostering for 22 years Ger and Peter O’Connor have decided to retire from fostering. In making this decision they both reflected on their motivation to foster.

They explained that when their daughter was very young, she experienced a serious illness which she thankfully recovered from. However, it was after this that they decided they wanted to offer what they could to vulnerable children and believed they could make good foster parents. They very much wanted to care for siblings, as they recognised how difficult it would be to be separated from your siblings after being taken into care.

Ger and Peter have been foster carers to 43 children on a short term and long term basis ranging from 10 months to 12 years on arrival to their home.

Over the last 22 years, Ger and Peter have been foster carers to 43 children on a short term and long term basis ranging from 10 months to 12 years on arrival to their home. During the years, Ger & Peter have had their fair share of laughter and heartache as they embraced the challenges and joys of fostering. Sleepless nights, hospital visits, teacher meetings, standing on the side-line at football games, fishing/camping, day trips and holidays are just some of the treasured memories they have that brings smiles to their faces as they reflect on their years as foster carers. The highlight of the O Connor’s fostering career has been reflecting on the many young lives they have impacted on over the years. Reminiscing on the various characters and personalities of the children and the joy they brought to their home, the O’Connor’s are proud of the relationships they built with the many children and birth families they encountered.

Offering advice to anyone considering fostering, both Peter and Ger would encourage anyone thinking about fostering to go ahead and explore the possibility. Peter said it is essential to include all of your family in the decision, consider what you can offer, what age group might suit your family best. Ger recommends building a network of other foster carers as a support, they understand the complex needs of children coming into care. They stressed that the big things for children coming into care are safety, security, and the warmth a secure carer can offer.

It is impossible to summarise the impact of their dedication to fostering. It is safe to say that the O’Connor’s have significantly contributed to helping children they have had the privilege to care for. As well as caring for their children they have been mentors to other foster carers and supported them when needed and been a listening ear in many situations.

Ger and Peter O’Connor were presented with a gift by Origins Foster Care to thank them for their dedication to fostering. During the presentation Origins Foster Care Director, Eugene Bigley, gave the following speech; “The O Connors during their time with Origins demonstrated the true meaning of fostering, an open mind, a listening ear and a willingness to understand and respect the children’s backgrounds as well as providing a stable loving home. On behalf of Origins Foster Care I would like extend our gratitude to Ger and Peter for their dedication, warmth and love they have shown to so many vulnerable children during their years as foster carers. It is a testament to their love and caring that many of these vulnerable children who are now adults are still connected with them, calling for advice, to reminisce or to check in on special occasions.”

If you would like to find out more about fostering, please don’t hesitate to contact Origins Foster Care.

A portrait photo of Eithne Larkin, a team member at Origins Foster Care smiling and looking at the camera.
Written by:
Eithne LarkinEithne Larkin
June 16, 2022
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