‘It’s not just a job, we get to be dads 24/7’

Charis Scott-Holm,BBC News

The Foster Care Charity  Two men hold their baby daughter in front of a Christmas treeThe Foster Care Charity

Stewart and Lee are dads of five, as well as foster carers

A married couple from Hull, who are both adoptive dads and foster carers, have discussed how much they love fostering in a bid to encourage others to consider it.

Lee and Stewart, who are dads to five children aged between two and 16, said they began fostering as a way to give something back to the community and make a difference for vulnerable children.

Lee and Stewart discussed how fostering is far more than a job, and something they took a lot of “pride” in.

Stewart said: “We get to watch them grow, develop and become the people that they were meant to be, rather than them being defined by whatever issue caused them to have a rough start in life.”

Celebrating firsts

When asked about their favourite part of being foster carers, Stewart said his highlight was seeing his foster children’s unconventional ‘firsts’.

Of his foster son, who experienced his first time trick or treating last Halloween at the age of seven, he said he loved seeing “those simple things that we’ve always taken for granted, things that are our everyday”.

“Some of these children haven’t experienced those firsts and it’s great to be on this journey with them,” he added.

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Lee said the fostering process was something the couple discussed with their wider family, as they were also affected, not just when a foster child arrived, but when they moved on too.

When discussing how their children handled having foster siblings, Lee said they were an “incredible asset” and source of support for those they were caring for.

He said seeing their children “interact with any children we’ve got in our care and take them under their wing” was “wonderful and it’s amazing to see”.

Over 100,000 children were in the care system in the UK in 2023 according to the Fostering Network.

The charity said about 38,000 more children come into care each year, the equivalent of one child every 15 minutes who might need a foster family.

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