Courtney, Jade and Tyler are all well and happy. They still live in the same flat which they are buying with the aid of a mortgage. We see each other at least once a year, usually just before Christmas when I take presents and also a ‘goody bag’ containing a Yule log and chocolate novelties. This visit has become part of our Christmas tradition and Courtney enjoys the chocolates as much as her parents do.

Tyler works at the same garage and is now in charge of the repair shop. Jade worked as a teaching assistant until two years ago when she stopped so they could start fostering. As I thought might happen when they were assessed to become foster carers – a process which took almost a year, their assessor took the view that Jade’s past was something she’d worked through, and as a result she was a stronger person. The medical report from Jade’s doctor confirmed that she hadn’t drunk heavily or smoked for years and was fit both emotionally and physically to foster. All foster carers have a medical as part of their assessment and then one every two years while they are fostering.

Because Jade and Tyler didn’t have a spare bedroom they were approved to foster a baby which could sleep in a cot in their bedroom. This is normal fostering practice; a child over the age of 2 has to have their own bedroom but a baby can sleep in the carer’s bedroom. At present they are fostering a baby girl called Tia who is four months old and who will hopefully be able to return to her parents in a few months.

Jade’s mother, Jackie, still lives in the same house, now with her new partner, his son and her two youngest children. The older siblings have moved out. Jackie and Jade see each other regularly and Jade’s father and his new partner are now in contact and visit a couple of times a year. Tyler’s mother moved out of the area but visits them most months.

Courtney is a lovely girl, warm, kind-hearted and intelligent, and without Jade’s unsafe teenage behaviour. Encouraged by her parents she is doing well at school and plans to continue studying and go to university. If she does she will be the first in ether Jade’s or Tyler’s family to do so. It is a testament to Jade and Tyler’s excellent parenting that she has become the person she is.