Caz's Fostering Story
Caz has been fostering for almost 10 years with Fostering People. Caz explains how she approaches motherhood and the differences between fostering and raising her own son.
‘I’m their mum in every way, except biology’: Celebrating one mum’s many maternal connections this Mother’s Day
Foster mother Caroline (Caz) has been fostering with Fostering People for almost 10 years, and recognises the different ways that children, young people and their mother figures acknowledge Mother’s Day.
There are close to 80,000 looked after children in the UK, all of whom will have different relationships with their mothers and will approach mother’s day differently this year.
Caz said: “I have looked after children of all ages throughout my fostering career. When I had teenagers we never celebrated Mother’s Day on Mother’s Day, and we didn’t make a fuss, and that was for their benefit.
“But the little ones I have now, they have all made me Mother’s Day cards at school! At school, it doesn’t matter who takes care of you, any variation on a blended family is accepted. It doesn’t matter who you are, you still get celebrated, and that’s wonderful.”
Caz has been taking care of her three foster daughters, aged 6, 7, 8 for the last four years, and supports them to have interactions with their biological parents whilst providing them with stability, continuity and a loving home.
“To me, motherhood means being someone who is present, around the clock, for anything. When children are small, you are their world, and it doesn’t make any difference whether that relationship is biological.” said Caz.
Caz does have a biological son too who is now 31, and is fully supportive of Caz’s fostering journey. He describes his mum as ‘fabulous and awesome’ for the work that she does.
Before Caz’s foster journey began, she had long standing jobs in financial management and a sewing factory. She said: “I had to miss out on a lot when I was raising my own son because of work and life, so I feel like I am really making up for it now by providing these children and young people with a loving home.
“One of the girls I used to look after moved just down the road from me. She has since had her own children, who call me ‘Granny Caz’! Britney is a fantastic mother, and it is a real pleasure to see her blossoming in her own adult life.”
Britney, now 21, has a 4 year old and 3 month old and praised Caz for providing her with the skills she needed to be a great mum herself.
Britney said: “When I was living with my biological mother growing up it was quite an unconventional environment.
“It wasn’t until I moved in with Caz that I realised what parenting is supposed to look like. If it wasn’t for Caz I wouldn’t be parenting my own children the right way, and I am confident that I know how to do that now.”
She continued: “We had a lot of ups and downs when I was living with Caz. I lived with her from the age of 13 - 17, and we were just like any other family I suppose! Sometimes we argued with each other, sometimes we loved each other.
“Now that I am a parent myself I can see the reasons that Caz did what she did. I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am today without Caz, and that’s why I celebrate her on Mother’s Day.”
Britney also has a relationship with her biological mother and will wish her a very Happy Mother’s Day too.
Britney said: “It’s nice that I can now wish my own mum a Happy Mother’s Day, but Caz was the one who provided me with that closeness when I was teenager. It’s amazing what foster parents can do.”
Caz said: “For me, fostering is all about making the commitment and saying to those children: I am here, this is your home, and whatever happens I am here for you.
“Although I am a foster parent, I am Caz, and am their mum in every way except the name.
“But by providing foster care to children who need it, I am able to ensure they receive that love and stability when their own parents weren’t able, but also help them to rekindle those relationships when it’s appropriate.”