The couple, who are both in their 60s, have grown up children and grandchildren and are currently caring for two young boys from Afghanistan – 13 year-old Anwar and 16 year-old Dilan. The two boys, who are not related, sought refuge in the UK after their families were threatened by the Taliban. Dilan (16) witnessed a friend being persecuted by the Taliban for being gay.

Neither of the two boys have displayed challenging behaviours nor appear to be traumatised by the events that took place in Afghanistan. However, the boys have expressed to Bob and Evelyn that they are very upset about leaving their families. Evelyn recalls that at the beginning of their placement the “two boys would often stay in bed in all day and felt depressed.”

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The challenging part of this placement has been the language barrier. When the two boys came to live with us, their English was non-existent and communicating with them was difficult.
Evelyn, Action for Children foster carer

To help the boys integrate within the community, Bob and Evelyn organised for them to attend their local Action for Children’s Young Person’s Group. The boys have had the opportunity to socialise with other children of similar ages and share their experiences of living in Afghanistan. With the support of Action for Children, Bob and Evelyn have helped the boys take up various activities, including boxing and taekwondo.

The boys English has improved dramatically through attendance at a local secondary school which specialises in helping child asylum seekers. Evelyn said: “This has helped the boys become more confident. Bob and I have supported the boys with their asylum applications taking them to appointments in London. We have also helped the boys to make contact with their relatives that reside in the UK and this has been very beneficial to the boys.”

Evelyn has spoken about her experiences of fostering for Action for Children and says: “Fostering has its challenges but also has its rewards. After having my own children, I felt that I had good experience dealing with children. I’m used to having a busy household and now that our own children have grown up, Bob and I felt that we had the time and facilities to support vulnerable children.”

“I am still in touch with some of children that we previously cared for, and it is always great to hear how they are getting on.”

Action for Children provide constant training and support, and I know I can always talk to someone if I am facing any difficulties. They also provide training for working with child asylum seekers, which helped us understand how to deal with potential problems, difficulties and cultural differences.
Evelyn, Action for Children foster carer

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