How long have you been carers?
We started caring in 2006, one of Monowara’s friends told her that there was a need for Muslim foster carers and we thought it was something that we could do. She’d been a child minder and we’ve got three children so fostering seemed like a natural step. I wasn’t that involved to start with and Monowara was the main carer, I was working and didn’t have the time to give to it. That’s changed since I’ve retired and now we share the work between us.
Our family are really supportive and my daughters are now older and help when they can. As a family supporting those less fortunate is at the core of who we are, my father set up an orphanage in Bangladesh that homes 500 children. Now he’s older his children are all involved in various ways and committed to ensuring that this work continues for future generations.
What are the rewarding parts?
When children have moved on and you see their circumstances improve that is really rewarding. We recently visited a young person who had lived with us for a couple of years and its encouraging to see her life moving on and her starting training for a job. That we’ve been able to perhaps steer some of the children or shape and introduce some positives into their lives is really rewarding. Often children arrive and they’ve got so little or see the world in different ways due to their experience we have to work hard to introduce them to new and more health ways of living and thinking and that can be hard but rewarding by the end.
Would you recommend it?
Yes, though I would say that you need to know it’s not all a bed of roses! You also need to have a lot of empathy for the children and their circumstances. In fact my brother is a foster carer for PCC and his wife’s sister is also a carer so that’s a recommendation.