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Meet Umrana

From a young age, helping people and caring for others has been part of who I am. I’ve always worked in social development and from that passion, I have nurtured my natural skills and empathy for others.

From a young age, helping people and caring for others has been part of who I am. I’ve always worked in social development and from that passion, I have nurtured my natural skills and empathy for others.

Over the years, just some of the things I have been involved in include being a Youth and Community Worker, a Learning and Aspirations Coach, a Youth Employment Worker, I have worked in schools, and I have been part of the Wandsworth Care Leavers Project. I have also studied to be a Counsellor and have completed many courses as part of my career. As well as being able to help others, my learning has enabled me to empower myself and regulate my own emotions.

Throughout my experiences, I have seen how deprivation, lack of opportunity and choices can impact on children and young people and this awareness has driven my passion for building self-belief in those who have not had the chances in life to grow their confidence and self-esteem.

All of this along with my experience of having raised my own children has led me to becoming a foster carer. There are many people in the world that have empathy for other’s situations, and within that pool of people there are those that want to mobilise change and we as foster carers are definitely part of that group.

Family and friends were not surprised at all about me becoming a foster carer as it is such a natural choice for me.

My children have been really excited and positive about it. I did consider fostering when my youngest was 14 (he is now 21), but it just didn’t feel like the right time at that point. My children are all very caring in their natures and are very aware of their own emotions. One is a qualified Social Worker, one is a Teacher and one works for the Department of Health so there is definitely a running theme in our family for caring and compassionate roles.

The assessment process didn’t get off to a great start initially for me, but it finished really positively, and I very much appreciated being listened to. I enjoyed writing about my past and it felt nice to look back and accept all that had happened over the years. I found the panel meeting to be wonderful. They held space for me to talk and to show who I am. I felt so welcomed and encouraged, the experience was very uplifting. I’d done all of the hard work to get there, and this was the final hurdle to becoming a foster carer.

At this point in time, I am waiting for my first placement. After the initial high of being approved, the wait can be hard, but I am a strong believer in what’s meant to be, and I understand how important the matching process is both for the child and for me. I am open to all ages, and placement types but from experience, I do have a soft spot and am always fascinated by children in the age 5-9 range as they seem to have such a zest for life and are full of curiosity.

I am a second-generation Asian, Muslim woman with dual cultural heritage, and I grew up in a multi-cultural community. I feel that any challenges and experiences I have had have led to so much growth for me and to positive things. I know that as a foster carer, I will often be advocating for a child, and I feel that a Muslim young person could really benefit from my experience to nurture a strong sense of cultural identity. It can be uncomfortable to call out prejudice sometimes, especially when it is unconscious, but done without holding judgement and with kindness is so important for a young person to see in the adults around them.

To anyone thinking of becoming a foster carer and doing their research...

... I have found the training at Capstone to be fantastic and that there is a culture of growth and learning throughout the organisation. I am so excited to be on board.

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