Faith, family and fostering: Colin and Marie's story

Thursday 25 November 2021
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Marie and Colin were inspired to foster after seeing an ad in their church magazine. After encouragement from their church youth group, they approached Action for Children

Fourteen years on, the church continues to play a major role in Colin & Marie's fostering journey. Read on to learn about how this church community has welcomed fostered young people with open arms.

Attending church and fostering

Colin and Marie have introduced many of their foster children to their church.

Colin said: “When you foster, you don’t have to compromise on your Christianity. Most of our foster kids have gone to church with us. They love it.”

Marie said: “At church they’re treated as part of the family, not as foster children. Our youth worker has been brilliant with all our kids.”

Although children have really enjoyed going to church, Marie stresses the importance of respecting a young persons own religious identity and beliefs:

“We would never force a child to go to Church – the decision is always theirs. On the rare occasion [they haven't wanted to come to Church], we took it in turns to attend. Colin would go one week, and I would go the next.”

At church they’re treated as part of the family, not as foster children


Colin and Marie have been very open about their faith with the birth parents.

“We’ve actually found that the birth families have been delighted that their children have been going to church, even though they haven’t been churchgoers themselves. They've all been very positive about it.”

Youth group

The congregation are always really welcoming

A welcoming congregation

Initial introductions are not always easy for fostered young people, but the congregation at Colin and Marie’s church is always welcoming.

Colin said: “We've found that having a good relationship with our church helped. When one of our foster children first attended, he had trouble adapting.

"The congregation were aware he’s fostered and very understanding of his behaviour. He soon settled down and now he loves church."

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If a young person doesn't want to go to church, Colin and Marie take it in turns to attend

Colin & Marie are delighted that their foster children have embraced church life. Several of their children are now baptised and confirmed.

Others have enjoyed the church’s youth organisations such as Pathfinders (Sunday School), Girls Brigade, Boys Brigade, and the youth group which Colin and Marie run.

Marie said “One of our foster children helps us run the youth group. She also arrives early for Girls Brigade to help with the young ones before joining her own age group. Another of our children was a leader in the Boys Brigade. It has been fantastic for them.”

An extended family

Whilst lockdown has changed church life, the family continued to attend every Sunday, even when services moved online. Marie said: “The church has been there for us throughout lockdown. They have made up different packs for the children. For Easter there were Easter eggs and for Mother’s Day they sent out different things to make."

The church has become an extended family for our foster children


"The children are always involved. There was one pack for Pathfinders with knitted teddies and a prayer. One of our children takes his teddy to bed with him every night.”

The couple believe that faith has an important part to play in fostering. “The church has become an extended family for our foster children. It has also been a massive support for us.”

Foster with Action for Children

We need foster carers to welcome young people with open arms into their homes and lives. If you would like to explore fostering, whether you have a faith or not, talk to us. We’ll answer your questions, talk you through the process and let you know what to expect.