Fostering Stories: Ashley and Mark

Becoming part-time support carers with Bradford Council


Ashley and Mark started their fostering journey with Bradford 15 months ago and care for a 7 year old child.


Ashley & Mark found that part-time foster caring was perfect to work around their family life and commitments.


As part-time support carers, Ashley and Mark look after children for a minimum of 8 sessions per month, and provide an environment for a child to feel safe and secure.


What is a support foster carer?


A support foster carer offers short breaks to children who still live with their birth parents. Support carers spend time with a child while supportive work is taking place with their birth parents and family.


This helps children to continue to live at home and prevent family breakdowns, which may lead to a child entering care full-time.


Learn more about support care fostering.



Becoming a part-time support foster carer


Coming from a family with a foster care background and seeing first-hand what impact you can have on a child initially gave us the inspiration to become part of the Bradford fostering family.


We were shocked to learn how many children do not get a fair start in life and we wanted to help families and children build the skills and identities for a brighter future.”


Ashley and Mark initially considered full-time fostering and attended a fostering information session to learn more about their options.


“We attended the initial introduction meeting and decided full-time fostering wasn't for us. We explained we couldn't commit right now to full-time fostering, and were then asked what we thought about part-time support care, which we weren't aware of.


We spoke to a carer present and that gave us the information to decide at this time in our lives that part-time care is what we can offer and has worked particularly well.”



Did you have any worries or doubt before becoming a foster carer?


“We both worried about whether our own child would adapt to other children coming and going.


However, we have involved our child from the application stage and been very open and honest with him. We always put his thoughts and feelings first and he has gone on to enjoy helping and sharing with other children.”



Who are children who foster?


Children who foster is the term we use to describe the children of foster carers, alongside children who spend a lot of time with a foster carer (such as grandchildren). All children who foster receive dedicated training and support so they feel fully prepared for their families fostering roles and responsibilities.


Learn more about how fostering can impact your children on our blog.


2 hand drawn houses with a car, one tree and the sun


Why did you decide to become a foster carer with Bradford Fostering?


We live in the district and they offer the short breaks/support care which fits in well with our work/home life. We didn’t consider any other local authorities or agencies”.


Which training courses did you attend and how have they helped you develop your skills?


“We attended the Journey 2 Foster training and found this eye-opening and very informative, this gave us a true insight into the fostering world and having children speaking from their experiences helped us to look at things from another perspective.


Between us, we have done over 10 online training courses relating to fostering. We are always looking to expand our knowledge to enhance our experiences.”


Ashley and Mark said:


“Our Supervising Support Worker (SSW) has been a massive support to us, she has been available at every step of the way to answer any questions and really guide us in our journey.”


What is the most rewarding thing about being a foster carer?


The most rewarding part of being a foster carer is making a difference and seeing/hearing what impact you have had on the young person in only a short amount of time.


One thing that makes us proud to be foster carers is seeing a child/young person try to do something for the first time and go on to build confidence and feel proud of themselves.”



What things do people need to consider before deciding to foster?


“It is very rewarding yet daunting at the same time but you have support around you that you need. What works for one person might not work for the next so don't be afraid to ask questions. It has to be right for you, your family and the children/young person.


You need to consider the time required for training, how the rest of your family feel, and talk to people close to you about how it may affect them and ask them their thoughts and feelings too.


We both look at life a little differently, we have always been very family-orientated but even more so now and we hold on to every moment and realise not everybody has that opportunity.”



Would you like to learn more about fostering in Bradford?


We believe fostering can change lives, whether a child is with you on a short-term or long-term basis. If you'd like to learn more about fostering in Bradford, download an information pack today and see how you can make a difference.