Myth Busting Q&A with foster carers David and Phil

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During Myth Busting March we spoke to David and Phil about their experiences fostering, they helped us bust some common myths about fostering.

David told us that people are still surprised when he say’s he’s a foster carer because he’s a single, gay, male.

The first young person David cared for was a 13 year old girl.  She was very wary of being with a man on her own.  Since returning to David after a period of time back with family, she has settled really well and everyone has seen a big change. 

“In the beginning I was just as worried has she was, but we get on so well now.  I am always open and honest with her and we have just connected really well”  It’s where she wants to be.

Phil and his family started fostering when his children were 7 and 5 and they fit fostering around work, family life and being a part time teacher.

Phil told us - "I’ve never felt prouder of myself and our family, because that child is safe and in a family that loves him"


Q. How has fostering differed from your expectations?

A. David: "I didn't expect to get so attached.  When she went back to her family I knew that was our end goal and what she wanted, so I knew we'd done the best thing by her.  Getting attached shows you care.

A. Phil: We looked after a little boy who went on for adoption and it was the most incredible experience to help bring a child and their forever family together.  When he finally left and the front door closed, we all burst into tears!  It was both sad and beautiful and I've never felt prouder of myself and my family.

Q. How has getting to know the children been?

A. David -  Fostering is like a big jigsaw puzzle. It's like trying to find the right pieces for that child and to put them back together to understand what might have happened in their past, or on that day, in that moment. (Curiosity is a useful tool as a foster carer!).  

A. Phil - It's never the fault of the child when they go into foster care.  They have always experienced trauma, so sometimes you will see anger but it's just fear dressed up as anger.  You learn to be curious and find ways to try and help them deal with those strong emotions.

Q. Reflections and advice to anyone thinking of fostering

A. David - "Take that step. Speaking to people like Phil made my mind up.  Just speak to the team and see what your options are.  There's no commitment and you can walk away at any point in the process if you're not happy.  Definitely do it, I wish I'd done it many years before I did."

A. Phil - “If you offer a lot of love, it does come back to you. It may not look like it does on the TV or in the movies, but it does come back eventually.  At the end of the day, this is a kid who deserves all that the rest of us take for granted. A warm, loving house with a family unit”

Q. How does fostering change your life?

A. David - “Fostering doesn’t stop you from being you.  Naturally caring for a child takes a lot of your time, but it doesn’t need to be who you are 100% of the time!  Just as you become a big part of a child’s life, they become part of yours and everything that is in it.  I like to spend weekends away with my friends and she will come with me!  You make that child a part of your family and what you normally do”

A. Phil - “There are some things I’ve never been able to do…but I’m not sure that I would do them anyway!  I’ve never climbed Kilimanjaro, I’ve never run a company but I have helped children manage life and overcome some of their fears and challenges”

“It’s like a puzzle, trying to find the right pieces for that child and to put them back together to understand what might have happened in their past, or on that day, in that moment”

Foster Carer David