A HARD-hitting documentary featured a Leigh couple as they prepared to wave goodbye to their first set of foster children.

Debbie and Chris Bulpitt, their 11-year-old daughter Rosie and their foster children – siblings Lauren, aged seven, and three-year-old Liam – appeared on the Channel 4 programme 15,000 Kids and Counting last week.

The couple hope that appearing on the show they will encourage more people to give a child a loving family.

Lauren and Liam arrived on the Bulpitt’s doorstep with nothing but a bin bag of belongings three years ago.

“That’s when the reality of fostering hit home. Like being a parent, nothing quite prepares you for it,” said 50-year-old Chris.

“Looking back I suppose we went into it naively, we thought we could just ‘fix’ them but it’s not as simple as that. But what we can do is provide a stable, safe and loving home.

“It is hard work, but it’s also the most rewarding job you can do.”

The couple originally signed up for short term foster care but as they watched the children grow up they realised how easy it was to become emotionally attached.

Debbie, aged 49, said: “They became a part of our family and so when they left it was sad. We’d gone from a noisy and chaotic household to a quiet one but we’re so happy that they’ve found such wonderful parents.”

Lauren and Liam were adopted six weeks ago against all odds as typically, the older sibling groups tend to be the hardest to place.

To find out more about fostering, visit: www.wigan.gov.uk/fostering or adoption: www.wwish.org.uk.