The joy of fostering children and young people

This time in the year has been designed Foster Care Fortnight. Ian and Sarah live locally and have attended St John’s over this last year of the pandemic, and Sarah explains about their desire to foster young people.

I have wanted to foster children for a long time.  I didn’t know any foster carers, but knowing that there were children, who for various reasons, often outside of their control, meant that they could no longer stay in their homes and in many cases had been subjected to emotional or physical abuse or neglect, made me want to offer them a safe and loving home.

My husband, Ian and I have been fostering for five years and moved to Hounslow knowing foster carers were needed in the area.  We chose not to have our own children so that we might foster harder to place teenagers or sibling groups, and bought a house large enough to foster. So far we have fostered a teenager for two years, who left at 18, but who we stay in regular contact with.  We provided respite care for three sisters aged, 3, 4 and 5 and now are long term foster carers for three brothers 8, 14 and 16, who have been with us nearly two and a half years and are all football mad!

There is no doubt that bringing up children can be a challenge and fostering can have its own set of challenges on top of this.  But the joy we get from sharing our lives with these children and young people is worth it.  They have all been amazing and special and to see them enjoy life and holidays and to learn new skills and take up new hobbies is a wonderful privilege.  Highlights include watching them pass their GCSE’s, teaching them to ride a bike, paddleboard, mackerel fishing, bake cakes and make homemade burgers. 

Our faith has kept us strong through the difficult times, including through lockdown, and our youngest just loved the St Johns Sunday evening children’s slot, a highlight of his week.

Sarah Prebble Powley