Monthly Archives: January 2017

Fostering teenagers

Finding enough foster carers for teenagers is always a challenge. Richard and Tony applied to foster with us specifically so they could help teenagers. They are now making a positive influence on many of our young people.

“We’ve been fostering with Tower Hamlets for over six years – we came to them because I (Tony) was brought up in the borough and still have family who live in the area. I come from a large family – I am one of five and I’ve been around my siblings, nieces and nephews for many years and Richard has a son who is in his 20s, so we knew what to expect – we knew we could make great parents.

“For us it was all about making a difference in young people’s lives, and to give something back to the community that Tony was brought up in. I’m not sure when we first thought about fostering but it was this reason which made up our minds; that it was the right decision for us.

We specialise in fostering teenagers – a group that many often shy away from. We love the way that we can see a young person change so much with love, care and attention. When we were considering fostering, we knew that we didn’t want to become full-time foster carers as you would need to be with young children all day, every day. We both work – I am a duty manager for Docklands Light Railway and Richard is a tanker driver for an oil company. We realised that by fostering teenagers – we would get the experience of children in our lives but we didn’t need to be getting up through the night or changing nappies! The children could fit into our lives and they have. Like most parents, we balance the care of our children with our jobs, and find our employers support us too.

“Our family support us whole-heartedly – they know this is what we wanted to do and they have supported us throughout the last six years. Richard’s son Aaron works at the Ealing studios as an animator in film and TV production – this is often a big hit with the children. One boy became especially fond of Aaron and became really motivated to learn and develop when he saw the opportunities which were out there for him. Whilst Aaron doesn’t live with us – he supports us and enjoys getting to know the youngsters who come to us.

“The reward and satisfaction you get from fostering when you see that you have made a difference to a child or young person’s life is huge. In some instances this could be the most smallest of change for the child or young person that could change their life.

“We can’t see an end to fostering – it’s part of our lives and we love to work with the children and other carers to get the best for them. I would never consider putting an age on caring for children and young people, as they will always be a part of our lives, even when they grow up and move on. We still receive phone calls and text messages from them, which is a wonderful experience. We’re here to stay and hope that we get to meet more new carers over the coming years, because unfortunately there is a need greater than ever.”

If you would like to find out more about how you could help teenagers, please get in contact.

The joy of fostering

One of our amazing foster carers Yusuf has written about his thoughts on caring for one little boy who had a very difficult start in life.

“Fostering a child comes with its own rewards and challenges, however after each of my placements has ended and I have seen the children, once they have settled into their own home either with their biological or adoptive families, I know deep down that the challenges were and will always be worthwhile.

“Helping a child who has little or no stability in life and giving them a sense of security, until the time comes for them to settle back into their permanent homes gives me a sense of pride and achievement. To know that I have played my part in allowing them to continue developing in all areas, and a chance to have a stable life.

“The first child that came to me was no more than 4 weeks old. He came with multiple health issues including heart failure, hearing and sight impairment and global development delay.

“I recall seeing this tiny, poorly baby lying on a huge hospital bed surrounded by beeping machines was heart-breaking especially as I had been told the odds of his survival were very slim and even if he had a successful operation, he would have a difficult life ahead of him. I remember clearly thinking it seemed as if there was no hope. However, Little Abdul was a tough cookie and he fought hard to fight the odds and recovered extremely well. Little Abdul became our little champion. Every milestone was celebrated by the entire family, because mostly there was always doubt about what he would be able to achieve and do and he always came out a winner. Little Abdul stayed with us for several years and although the pain of him leaving us was immense, knowing he was going to be adopted by a family who had already adopted Little Abduls’s sibling, gave us a sense of relief.

“We see Little Abdul occasionally when he comes to visit us and to see how he has grown into a boy of nearly 6 years who is thriving in every aspect of his life, who speaks and eats as any other child does, who plays and walks and is continuing to achieve so much, gives me such a sense of pride because I feel that it was because we were blessed with a chance to help and support him, that he has managed to grown into the wonderful and bright little boy he is now.”