Newham foster carers on 'most rewarding and uplifting experience'
- Credit: Delrose Smith-Peart and John Peart
Foster carers in Newham have opened up about their experiences in a bid to encourage others to consider also helping a young person in need.
Delrose Smith-Peart and John Peart, who have fostered teenagers since 2012, took on their foster child Destiny when she was nine.
As a former teacher and with experience mentoring troubled adolescents as part of her work at a bank, Delrose said fostering was the perfect fit for her.
"I can relate to teenagers and see past the barriers they might try to put in place,” she said.
Delrose added that “resilience, persistence and consistency is key to building trust” when a foster child joins the home.
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Fostering is rewarding, especially when your efforts are returned with “love and respect”, she added.
Now 18, Destiny said she remembers how Delrose and John welcomed her while also setting boundaries.
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She said: “People who want to foster need to understand that some children will try to be misunderstood. You need to listen and support them no matter what, as some children will suffer in silence.”
Meanwhile, Don and Bernie Lynch have been foster carers for six years, describing it as “one of the most rewarding and uplifting experiences in our lives”.
Don said although it can be a challenge, there is training and ongoing support available from Newham Council’s fostering team and support on offer with the Fostering United Newham forum.
He said: “Fostering a child or young person at this time is one of the most community-spirited acts anyone can undertake.
"The knowledge you have helped bring some security, stability and happiness into the lives of the most vulnerable children and young people – and helped put a smile on a face where there once wasn't one – is reason enough to be a foster carer.”
Don and Bernie’s supervising social worker, Lynda Bowler, added: “They believe in creating positive memories, fun and exciting times. They understand trauma and how it impacts on children’s ability to function emotionally – and they make efforts to overcome this by being nurturing, supportive, kind and always ready to give praise."
Newham Council's foster carers receive support which includes a weekly allowance of up to £450, help from a supervising social worker and 24-hour assistance.
For more information on fostering, visit www.newham.gov.uk/fostering, call 0800 0130 393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org