IT was a shock to Dominic McPike’s when his parents told him he would be getting a new brother.

Four years ago the McPike family, from Atherton, fostered Jake, 11, who has complex needs including autism and epilepsy.

Mum Amanda, dad Stuart, older sister Kathryn, 18, and Dominic work as a team to provide his care and have given Jake the nurturing home he needs.

Cuddles on the sofa after breakfast and hours playing on the trampoline are some of Dominic’s favourite things to do with Jake, and he couldn’t imagine family life without him.

Dominic, 11, said: “I enjoyed getting to know what it is like to have a brother. It was hard at first because he was shy and I think he was scared.

“It was completely new to me and to him but I loved it.”

When he first came to live with the family Jake could not make eye contact but his special bond with Dominic has helped him to come out of his shell and he is now thriving.

“He has changed so much”, Dominic said.

“His height has changed and he is much more confident.

“He loves his food. The biggest problem we have is keeping him out of the kitchen.

“I like going for walks with him and I love to cuddle with him in the morning. When we’ve had breakfast he’ll lie down next to me and we will fall asleep on each other.”

Dominic’s mum Amanda says his patience and understanding is brilliant and he is now even considering fostering his own family or becoming a teacher when he’s older.

Leigh Journal:

Dominic McPike

Dominic said: “I just love helping people. I might be a teacher when I’m older, so I can help other people with additional needs. It’s so rewarding to see the smile on his face when he’s happy.

“I learn things from him too.

"Not all kids are as lucky as me. Jake didn’t ask to have special needs but he’s living with it and I think he’s doing a good job with it.”

Dominic is supporting this year’s Foster Care Fortnight, which starts on Monday and finishes on Sunday, May 26 in the hope other families will consider fostering a child.

James Winterbottom, director for children’s services at the council, said: “Dominic is such an inspirational child with a big heart.

"It is amazing to see how rewarding fostering has been for the McPike family.

“We desperately need more foster carers to support our children in care and would urge anyone to get in touch if they think they could provide a loving, safe home to a child.”

Through The Deal for Foster Carers, Wigan Council is working to ensure foster carers have the right training and support so they can provide the best home for our young people.

For more information about fostering visit or call 01942 487200.

*Jake's name has been changed for child protection purposes