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Meet the Foster Carers

Pages in Meet the Foster Carers

  1. Howard's Fostering Journey
  2. Adele's Fostering Journey
  3. Janet's Fostering Journey
  1. Helen's story
  2. Julie's story

Howard's Fostering Journey

Fostering and adoption

I have been a foster carer with Coventry City Council for about 14 years now, I guess I didn't have much choice about coming into fostering as my wife had already been fostering for nearly 20 years when we met!

We have had a number of different types of placement over the years and more recently  we have been receiving young people who have come into the country without their family, known as ‘unaccompanied minors’ fleeing war in their country of origin. It has been a joy to watch them  master a new language, attend and complete a basic level of education and then go onto spread their own wings knowing you are there if they need help and support. One young person we had could not speak a word of English when he arrived, didn’t know what running water, electricity or even what a bed was. We supported him in completing a good basic education and to pass both his written and practical driving tests. He now has a full time job and runs his own home which has been an amazing achievement for him.

There are challenges to fostering such as when you meet a child for the first time, there is an element of fear as well as stepping into the unknown. You only really begin to understand the child or young person after you have got to know each other better and they feel comfortable enough to feel part of the family (although this can also be when some learned behaviours reappear too!)

I have found there are particular challenges and rewards being a male carer. If a young person, particularly girls, have had difficulties with birth fathers, step fathers or other male role models in their life they can understandably be more wary around men and it can take a long time before the young person can, hopefully,learn to trust or accept me as a positive support for them. I think it is always important to consider why they might find some situations difficult, and have an empathy with them- ultimately you are fostering to make a difference and help support children and young people so the relationship and trust that you build with them will be led by them and it is in their own time that they feel ready to trust you and open up about their feelings. I think they also learn they probably get a fairer or easier deal from me!

The rewards of fostering far outweigh the challenges though and without meaning to sound ‘twee’, you are making such a difference to Coventry’s children and young people. Seeing them make small but confident steps on their own journey, watching them grow and develop within the stability you give them. You can't solve all their problems, or make everything better but you can give them believe in themselves and be a role model for their future lives and own families going forward. That’s what makes it all worthwhile!  

To join Howard and our fostering team, give us a call on 024 7683 2828.

Family Placement Service

Open 9.00am–5.00pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)

Email: familyplacementservice@coventry.gov.uk

Tel: 024 7683 1873

Visit: http://www.coventry.gov.uk/adoptionandfostering

Civic Centre 1
Little Park Street
Coventry
CV1 5RS
Fostering brochure

If you'd like a printed copy of our brochure, please call 024 7683 2828.

Download our Fostering pack

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