Ian tells of his ‘Covid year’ as an emergency foster carer

Published Thursday, 07 January 2021

A Coventry foster carer has spoken on national radio about the challenges and rewards of providing care during the pandemic.

Ian Houghton, who with his partner provides vital emergency foster care, was a guest on BBC Radio 5 Live over Christmas and spoke to presenter Clare McDonnell in a feature about people who had experienced different ‘Covid years’.

He explained how they had been approved as foster carers by the Council in February last year and began in March providing emergency and weekend cover. He spoke of the challenge of spending such a short time with the young people and how it has changed his life.

Ian said: “It does break your heart when they leave, especially when you’ve formed a bond with them over the weekend and you’ve started to get to know them.

“It’s given us a different perspective on life, people don’t realise what goes on behind closed doors. We find it really rewarding, you see children come in who are upset and distraught, then as soon as you start to see that smile on their face and they start to open up and talk to you, that’s when you know it’s the right thing to do.”

The emergency fostering scheme provides access to foster care placements out of office hours for children and young people who are in crisis and where immediate safeguarding measures are required to keep them safe.

The full interview can still be found on the BBC Sounds website beginning at around 48 minutes in.

Cllr Pat Seaman, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “It was lovely to hear Ian speak so well on national radio about emergency fostering. He, his partner and everyone involved in emergency fostering should be incredibly proud of what they do to support our young people when they are most at need. I would urge anyone thinking about fostering to contact us and find out more.”

If you would like to find out more about becoming a foster carer please visit our fostering web pages.

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