Ian & Beverley’s Fostering Story23 May, 2018
“We have given the children we’ve looked after, stability in their life”
Ian and Beverley share how a little patience and resilience has changed the lives of 17 children.
Many years ago, before the couple had their own children, Beverley’s aunt adopted three children, who both Beverley and Ian adored. So much so, they used to entertain the children with days out. Needless to say, they quickly formed a strong bond with the children and thought it was something they may be able to do in the future.
A few years later, the couple decided to extend their family by having two children of their own, which occupied the majority of their time. When the children were slightly older, aged 10 and 11, the couple thought about fostering. One evening the family were inspired by a documentary about fostering and decided the time was right.
Talking about the decision to become foster carers, Beverley, commented: “My husband said he was happy for me to apply, so we spoke to other carers and took the necessary steps to start the process.
“Time goes very quickly, we’ve been fostering for over 30 years now and I remember our first placement like it was yesterday. He is now 33 years old and came to us when he was just three years old. We have learnt a substantial amount throughout our fostering journey and still continuing to learn every day.”
Each child that Ian and Beverley have fostered through ISP has had very complex needs and behaviours. Beverley added: “We refuse to give up on them and keep going until they are ready to leave. Even then, they are still in touch when they get into difficulties.
“We have given the children we have looked after stability in their life, it’s always important to remind ourselves of this.
“I like to do a lot of reading and research which has always helped me to understand the children’s worlds a lot more.”
“There have been so many significant events in all our lives and to be honest I could write a book about it.”
After 30 years of fostering the couple still find it just as rewarding as they did in the early stages. Beverley said: “The biggest reward for us is seeing the children go on to have successful careers. Every successful step that the young people take in their life is a step forward for us.
“At my last review, one of the children was asked who she would like to aspire to be and she answered with my name. I can’t put into words how privileged I felt.”
The couple’s advice to anyone considering fostering would be to “go into fostering for the long haul and if it gets tough, stick with it as it really is worth it. There are thousands of children out there who deserve to feel special.”
It’s estimated that fostering services need to recruit a further 5,900 foster families in the next 12 months in the UK. If you’d like to learn more about the role of a foster carer, then please get in touch with our friendly team – we’d love to hear from you.
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