FosteringFuturesrWhen Matthew Lockyer semi retired as a property developer, he and his wife, Tracy, set about creating the house of THEIR dreams - one filled with foster children.

The Porth couple have always wanted to become foster carers and took the first step when their own daughter, now a mum of two herself, moved out of the family home.

As someone in the property industry, Matthew was lucky enough to choose a new home with fostering in mind - a big one with lots of bedrooms!

Matthew and Tracy firmly believe that brothers and sisters who are taken into care, through no fault of their own, should be kept together where possible.

So, after being approved as foster carers just over a year ago, Tracy and Matthew welcomed their first children - a group of FOUR brothers and sisters!

They went on to look after two brothers, who have since returned to their birth family, and are currently caring for another group of four brothers and sisters.

While Tracy continues to work, Matthew is now the main carer and has swapped architects' plans for Bob the Builder and property viewings for the school run - and he is loving every minute of it.

He said: "Brothers and sisters who have a difficult home life are often each other's only support network. When they are taken into care, it is distressing, upsetting and absolutely not their fault. They need each other the most at this time, so it is important, where possible, they do stay together.

"Tracy and I are lucky to be in  a position where we can make this happen and it is so rewarding to be able to provide a normal family life for these young people for as long as they need it.

"Whether they are in foster care for a short while until they can return to their birth family, or are moving on to longer-term care or adoption, we can play a vital part in their lives.

"It has been said so many times before, but it really is the normal family routines that make such a different, meal-times, sitting down together to do homework, going to bed at a set time every night and so on. It is not about money, days out or lots of material goods, it is about time and care.

"There is so much information and support from the Fostering Team to help you decide if fostering is right for you and your family, so you have nothing to lose by simply finding out more."