Ian's fostering story
Father of six foster children reveals how he knew something was missing before he started fostering. Find out more.
Father of six foster children reveals how he knew something was missing before he started fostering.
A former lorry driver from Yorkshire, Ian, always knew something was missing until he started fostering just over three years ago.
Ian and his wife Ruth started their fostering journey together with Fostering People back in 2019, after realising what they could give to so many vulnerable children.
He said: “I was previously married for 26 years, I could never have kids of my own. When I met my second wife Ruth, she turned to me and asked, ‘If there’s anything in the world I could give you, what would it be?’ I said, ‘it has to be kids’.”
Ian continued: “My stepson is a dancer. At the dance school he went to there were two foster parents.
We started to get to know them and understand more about the process of fostering. That was when we realised that we could do that, we could give children a chance in life.”
Ian reveals how being a primary fostering carer has changed his life for the better. He said: “ I love it. I wish I had done it 20 years ago. I love every minute, even the training!
“It was a fast process for us, we had two placements within the first month of signing up. Jack* is 17 now and he’s staying put, he asked us last year if he can stay with us long term. We have now built him his own extension on the house for him to live in independently to prepare him for adult life. He’s a lovely lad.
We also have Sophie*, who is now 13, she came to us when she was nine. We fell on our feet 100% with these two. ”
He continued: “We then put in to foster another child with having a big spare room in the house. We were contacted to say they had two girls in Bradford who had to be split up from their other two sisters. I didn’t want them to be split up so we took all of them. Now we have all four since last week!
They are seven, eight, ten and twelve.” Ian is now living the life he always wanted, he said: “I used to be a lorry driver but this is real life. I’m never solitary, I’ve always got company around me. Fostering has fulfilled more than I could have ever expected and wished for. This is exactly what I’ve been missing.”
When asked about what changes he sees in the children, he said: “Jack* used to be someone who sulked all the time, he never said how he was feeling. I see this much less now. We have now got to the point where he wants to speak to me about what he’s feeling.”
His first father’s day with the foster children is a moment he will never forget, he said: “I still have a heart here at the side of my chair that Sophie* gave me on Father’s Day with a poem on it. Jack* and Sophie* both presented me with a card. It was an amazing feeling. It was the same feeling I had when my step-son first gave me a Father’s Day card.”
For anyone worried about taking the step to start fostering, Ian said: “Leap, just take the leap. You will never ever look back.”
*names have been changed to protect the children's identity.