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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.”