the story of

Hannah and Ed

Hannah, her husband, Ed, and their 5 children first enquired about fostering just before the first lock down but decided that the time wasn’t quite right. Their youngest child was in Year 4 in primary school and they wanted him to have a chance to develop his confidence and his own personality before they started fostering.   They were clear from the beginning that they would be going into fostering as a family, a collective, and that any children they would care for would be younger than their youngest child.   

we wanted to change things from the inside

Hannah and Ed both work with children with Hannah running a pre-school and Ed working in a secondary school, and in the course of their work came across lots of children who they knew needed help and realised that the system was broken.  Rather than continuing to complain about how bad things were they decided the best thing they could do was try to effect change from the inside.

During the first lockdown, despite both continuing  to work full-time as well as home-schooling their own children who were doing GSCSEs and A-levels,  they decided to continue with their fostering journey, with assessment meetings taking place outdoors, weather permitting, or in the barn.

Hannah said that they are in the privileged position to have the capacity and the space to look after another child. They have a large house on farmland with lots of outdoor space and both she and Ed have school holidays at home. Two of their children have now gone to university and the other 3 who are now teenagers are all very self-motivated, have been involved from the beginning of the assessment process and are involved in caring for the children who come to stay with them.

Initially they had two little boys come to stay for a weekend but one was the same age as their youngest child which just didn’t work and confirmed their original thoughts about the age range of the children they could look after.

we want to help as many children as possible

They then had a little boy come to stay with them, and he’s now been with them for two and a half years.  There are still times when he tests boundaries, but with the support of the family he is learning how to cope with new situations and has settled well into their family and school where he now has the 1:1 help that they advocated hard for him to have.  The current plan is for him to remain with them long-term. They still, however, want to help as many children as possible.

 They recently another young girl join them.  The little boy really likes younger children and they got on instantly. He enjoys playing with her and has coped really well when she snatches his toys and runs away!  They recently had a day out at the pumpkin patch, an experience that he struggled with last year, when he went the first time. This year was a different story and he coped really well telling the little girl that he’d been before and showing her what to do.

we have really good support from family and friends

Hannah said that they have really good support from their family and friends, which is crucial.

Their social worker says

“they are great foster carers who just get on with everything that comes their way.  The whole family have been involved and that is what has made the difference. “
Photo of the Davies family

we foster as a family

Hannah’s advice to anyone considering fostering is to “be realistic and know your own skillset. It is one of the hardest things that you will ever do but it will also be hugely rewarding.  You foster as a family, a collective and your own children need to be involved at every stage. Listen to them as they need to be on the journey with you.

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young boy playing cards and smiling

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