Being a religious foster carer in the Bradford district
The cornerstone of any religion is love, care, openness and community, values which align so closely with fostering.
We spoke with a number of our foster carers who identify with different faiths about why they decided to foster and how their religion and faith plays an important role in their day to day lives as carers.
Heidi and Frank’s experience as Christian foster carers
Through fostering, Heidi and Frank feel they can put their Christian values into action by accepting and loving children whatever their behaviour and background, by showing grace, forgiveness, and patience.
Heidi and Frank currently foster two teenage girls with a different background and ethnicity to their own.
This didn’t mean their foster children missed out on engaging and learning more about their own background and culture.
Over the past 12 months, their foster children have become very interested in the Black Lives Matter movement and how their lives fit in with #BLM, and have been exploring their identity and what it means to be Black teenagers in Britain.
“As parents, we provide all our children with what they deserve – kind, loving, consistent parenting. Everyone has to keep in mind that children are in care through no fault of their own. They deserve the opportunity to be part of a loving family.
The Christian faith is about people being called home to Jesus through love and kindness. We want to be able to offer that love and kindness to children as well. We knew we could offer that to a child in care. We feel we are called to support children.”
Fostering a child with a different religion to your own
Whether you’re a Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu or another religion, you may be worried about fostering a child who may not share the same religious beliefs as your own.
Here at Bradford Fostering, we work with foster carers and support staff from a wide variety of backgrounds, cultures and religions to support the care of children and young people in our local area.
During the fostering application process, we will speak to you about your values, experiences and preferences to ensure we find the perfect match for both you and your foster child.
Tariq and Irum’s experience as Muslim foster carers
One of the core beliefs of Islam is to help others in need, which made fostering a great match for Tariq and Irum’s family.
They currently foster a 16 year old boy with complex health needs and disabilities and are looking to foster more children in the future.
Tariq and Irum said:
“As Muslims, we believe strongly in the values of compassion, generosity and opening our home and our hearts to someone who needs love and care.
When we were approved as carers, we were very open about what kind of child we would consider.
It didn’t matter about boy or girl, or what age they were. It was more about their personality, their interests and if we could meet their needs.
Waseem came to us from a large family and part of our job as foster carers is to help him maintain contact with his birth family.
We meet up with his parents and his brothers and sisters and make sure we all spend time together on special days like at Eid.”
How you can use your religious values to support a foster child
Many religions have a set of values which encourage followers to be thankful, compassionate and respectful.
These are positive traits which are hugely beneficial for children in care. These can be shown in different ways, including teaching your foster child good manners and encouraging them to assist others in their local community.
Would you like to learn more about fostering in Bradford?
Foster carers change lives. If you'd like to learn more about fostering in Bradford, download an information pack today and see how you can make a difference.