Ruth, a former primary school teacher, and Kev, first began their fostering journey in Bradford after getting married and having their first child 7 years ago, caring for their first foster child when their birth child was just 18 months old.
Since then, their family has grown further. As foster carers, they currently provide essential day to day support and care to two older children in the Bradford district as well as their own 2 birth children.
We spoke with the couple about their experiences fostering with their local council:
Why did you choose to become foster carers?
Ruth felt that her background in teaching made her a good candidate to foster children in her community:
“My back history is that I’m a primary school teacher, and after we had our daughter, we decided we wanted to look into fostering as a way of extending our family and giving back in a way that I couldn’t as a teacher.”
Ruth & Kev feel that fostering was a great decision for them to make as a family. Kev told us:
“What we think about is when [our foster children] first came to us, how they were, to what they are now, you know - it's a privilege to be part of their lives. It’s an amazing opportunity to be part of.”
Did you have any concerns about how fostering might affect the family?
Fostering is a big decision, and naturally, Ruth and Kev had some concerns:
“At the time, our daughter was very little and we didn’t want to feel like she was being put at risk.”
However, when they spoke to Bradford Fostering about this, they were put at ease and felt that their concerns were handled well.
“Bradford Fostering were really good at looking at the children they were placing with us on a long-term basis, looking at their history with younger children and how they would fit into the family. I feel like our set up…was really considered before a decision was made to place the children with us.”
Do your children like being part of a fostering family?
“Yeah, definitely. Our daughter is 7 now and she fully understands what it means to be a foster family.
“Something that has come back from her teachers is how caring she is and how responsive she is to different people and different environments. She now has a much bigger view of the world because she has had this experience and she has understood people have come from different backgrounds and they don’t necessarily have the same life and upbringing that she has had.
With us moving into Mockingbird, she is super excited as she will have lots of friends who will come round to our house to play with and do lots of nice things together.”
What is Mockingbird?
Mockingbird is an award-winning scheme that brings foster families together in Bradford. It’s a fantastic way for carers like Ruth and Kev, and their foster children, to make new friends; and provides a safe place for foster children in addition to support and advice for carers.
Learn more about Mockingbird and the support Bradford Fostering carers and their families receive here.
Fostering sibling groups
Ruth and Kev foster 2 sisters. They believe it’s really important for siblings to stay together “because they’ve got a connection, they’ve got a history together, and [they] want to continue to share those experiences and build those relationships together.
“And also, the two children that we foster, they were, in their home life… the two oldest and they had younger siblings, so it’s given them an opportunity to be siblings rather than parents, because that’s what they fell into when they were at home, they parented.
“They’ve built beautiful sibling bonds with our own children and that’s worked really, really well for our family dynamics.”
Would you like to learn more about fostering in Bradford?
We believe fostering can change lives, and help you give back in a way that benefits children around Bradford. If you'd like to learn more about fostering in Bradford, download an information pack today and see how you can make a difference.