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Meet Saiqa and Iftikhar

I grew up seeing my mum’s neighbour fostering and I loved watching her care for and then eventually adopt a young girl who lived with them. We were friends and I remember listening to the stories when I was a teenager about why she was in foster care. Once I had my own home, I thought why not give a child in need a nice, happy and loving home and, help them to feel safe.

I grew up seeing my mum’s neighbour fostering and I loved watching her care for and then eventually adopt a young girl who lived with them. We were friends and I remember listening to the stories when I was a teenager about why she was in foster care. Once I had my own home, I thought why not give a child in need a nice, happy and loving home and, help them to feel safe.

We have been foster carers for around 13 years and have cared for 32 children during that time. We have taken on all different types of placements over the years, including short term, long term, respite and parent and child. We’ve never had a preference and love each and every placement that comes into our care equally.

One boy that I really wanted to talk about was a foster child that came to us when he was 14 and stayed with us until he was 21. He was incredibly shy and quiet when he first came. He was a very calm boy and spent a lot of time on his laptop. Over the years he has grown to be a bubbly and confident young man. He went on to marry one of my cousins (my uncle’s daughter) and he now has two beautiful daughters. He still visits me with his girls, and he is a big part of our family.

I know that some people worry about becoming foster carers because of having to say goodbye, but that isn’t always the case. I wanted to share this story as I am so proud of all of the children I have cared for, and this goes to show that there isn’t always a sad goodbye. When as a foster carer, you build trust over time and give your love and care as you do with your own children, you find that more often than not, the children you have cared for want to stay in contact.

All of the children we have cared for over the years are still in touch with us and they often come to me when they need advice and support, just like my own children do.

Many of the children I have cared for have been unaccompanied asylum seekers. They often arrive feeling completely lost and without being able to speak any English at all. I am their voice to help them. I support them towards getting their initial visas and help them to learn English. It’s surprising how quickly they learn even just doing small things like leaving the subtitles on the TV. After a few years with us, they are speaking English fluently. We teach them all of the life skills they will need when they are adults, like shopping, saving, paying bills etc. As with all children, what they see you do, they will do. I’m still always there for them, even when they leave. All of our foster children have been so lovely. 

To potential foster carers I would say…

…that you have to feel ready. If there’s something holding you back, then try to work out what that reason is first to see if you can overcome it.

Any job that you have in your life can be difficult and although it’s one that you put your heart and soul into, fostering is still a job in the sense of the time and dedication you have to give along with the ongoing training and professionalism that you need in order to become a foster carer.

All the children that come to us have different needs, but with training, support and experience, over time you become much more confident. If I look back to myself 10 years ago, I didn’t have the confidence that I do now, but it does come if you take that step. The training sessions are the best and it’s great to meet other foster carers. I’m happy to talk to anyone who is thinking of becoming a foster carer if they would like to speak with someone who is experienced.

We have five birth children and we manage really well. Our children love being part of a fostering family. They were small when we started on our fostering journey and have always been very involved. They have grown to be really caring people and even when they were little, were keen to make sure that they shared anything they had with the foster children in our home. I checked to see why one of my (older) daughters was still awake at midnight the other night and it was so she would be the first to text one of our previous foster children a happy birthday!

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3rd November, 2021

Facebook Live: Fostering at Christmastime and mythbusting with Paddy and Seb!

Events

3rd November, 2021

Facebook Live: Questions and Answers with our foster carer, Andy!

Events

19th October, 2021

The Job Fair - Bridgewater Hall, Manchester - Come and meet us 

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