Stephen's fostering journey
Stephen has been a Wandsworth foster carer for six years and has cared for five children. Before this, he was a foster carer with an independent agency for eight years and looked after 10 children. He says each child has their story.
"We have a big family dinner every Sunday when we all come together to enjoy the food. Our foster children are considered part of the family. They join in and take part on day trips to the beach, birthday parties, and BBQs, when we enjoy my favourite, jerk chicken. Some of our children are from different cultural backgrounds but we share our experiences of food with them and they do the same with us.
"I grew up in a home where we always looked after someone and helped them out – there was never a dull moment! There were always people less fortunate than us in Jamaica and my mum helped them. I consider fostering to be my opportunity to give back to someone who is having a difficult time. I do not need financial rewards for making them part of my family. It is enough to know that I have given them the opportunity to progress in their life.
“All children and families have issues but children/young people in care have a lot to deal with especially being separated from their family, it’s about taking the time to talk with them and understand their issues and helping them to build their self-esteem and become comfortable in their own skin."