Foster Carer Talks. It is more a question of why wouldn't you foster?

25th January, 2023

We recently took the time to catch up with Capstone foster carer, Marcus, 55, to talk about his fostering journey so far. And with six years and still going strong, Marcus’s journey is full of emotion and warmth.

Fostering With a Disability

Marcus lives with a sight condition called RP, when this condition forced him into early retirement, he took the time to reflect on what he wanted from a vocation knowing only that he wanted to do something that he could take pride in.

His sister had fostered previously, so he spoke to some people and did his research on fostering opportunities.

“I thought my sight condition might hold me back. But when I spoke to Capstone they made it clear that it wouldn’t, as long as I was physically capable of looking after a child.”

 

Coping with Saying Goodbye to a Child

One of Marcus’s first arrangements was a six-days-old baby. There is a preconception that when fostering people want babies, however, this is often not the case. Using his experience as a single father, Marcus put himself forward.

The tiny baby was born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, caused by drug addiction.

“There was a lot of close contact in the early days. I would hold him tight, let him know that he was safe and loved.”

The baby stayed with Marcus and his partner of 25 years, for eleven months, before moving on to an adoptive family. With such a turbulent start in life, Marcus admitted that not getting attached was hard especially when his little personality started to shine through.

“It was tough saying goodbye, I couldn't have done it without my partner. And we knew that he was going to a family who would love him. I had done my role but that didn’t make it any less difficult, having support is vital and I talked to other foster carers about it – they know how it feels to say goodbye.”

Although Marcus counts himself lucky that he and the adoptive parents have stayed in touch and Marcus sees him at Christmas and on his birthday.

 

So, Why Foster?

Marcus talks with such emotion and honesty that we had to ask, what keeps him fostering six years on?

“The question I ask is why wouldn’t you foster? Not the other way around. These kids have gone through so much. They deserve a safe and secure home.”

Indeed, when talking about his current foster child, who has been with him long term, his voice is full to the brim with pride. In Marcus’s eyes, he is part of the family and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Having established contact with some members of his birth family, Marcus has always been supportive, even throwing a 70th birthday party for his nan.

 

Investing in the Future

The impact that being a foster carer is evident, while more hesitant of talking about himself, when talking about his foster child, T, Marcus comes alive. T is doing so well now, clever, excelling in school and winning awards for his reading availability.

Marcus has set up a savings account, that he hopes T will be able to buy a car with when the time comes.

“I didn’t think it would be this rewarding.” Marcus confesses.

 

Advice for Potential Foster Carers

Marcus would love to see more people with disabilities considering a career in fostering. Having a condition does not preclude you from being able to provide a safe and loving home for a vulnerable child.

He also wants to break down barriers when it comes to preconceptions about cultural matching. Being British-Caribbean himself, and his foster child of White-British heritage, Marcus has never let that get in the way of making a meaningful relationship.

“It gives you an opportunity to learn, about different cultures. You need to let go of your judgements when you foster. It is about providing the best life you can for that child.”

Well said Marcus.

 

If Marcus’s story resonates with you and you would like to know more about fostering with Capstone call one of our friendly team on 0800 012 4004.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
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